The Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Ha Noi

Location: It belongs to Dien Bien and Quan Thanh wards, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
Characteristics: As the imperial city of Viet Nam under the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties, the Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long houses a great deal of priceless cultural-historical relics of the ancient Thang Long imperial citadel.

The Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Ha Noi covers area of 18.395ha. The magnificent, imposing Thang Long-Ha Noi Citadel has stood the test of time over 10 centuries in the land of Thang Long (present-day Ha Noi).

 

History

In the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225), Thang Long Citadel was built as replacement for Dai La Citadel. During the dynasties of Tran (1225-1400), Le So (1428-1527) and Mac (1527-1592), Thang Long Citadel underwent some repairs. Under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the capital of the country was transferred to Phu Xuan (Hue) and  Bac Thanh (former Thang Long Citadel) only served as the seat of the General Governor of the North. Therefore, its size was reduced in 1805. In 1831, King Minh Mang changed name of Bac Thanh to Ha Noi Citadel in a big administration reform.

 

Cultural and architectural values

The ancient Thang Long Citadel had three encircling walls. The smallest and most inner wall was Tu Cam Thanh (Purple Forbidden Citadel) where king and his family lived. The second wall called as Hoang Thanh (Imperial Citadel) was the court affairs area. Common people inhabited the earthen outmost wall, La Thanh (Imperial City). La Thanh used to have many opened gates, only Quan Chuong Gate has been preserved to date. The vestiges of the ancient earthen wall can be seen at Dai La, Hoang Hoa Tham, and La Thanh roads.

 

The Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Ha Noi contains a lot of invaluable cultural and archaeological artifacts of the ancient Thang Long Citadel. These artifacts reflect lively and plentifully the styles of architecture, sculpture and also culture of each dynasty.

 

The Central Sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Ha Noi has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2010.

 

 

Relic Sites

After more than a thousand years of history, the grandiose Thang Long Imperial Citadel didn’t exists but some relics still remain. They also reappear to some extent the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel


Archaeological Site at 18 Hoang Dieu St.

The Archaeological Site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street covers the area of 4.53ha, about 100m to the west of Kinh Thien Palace.

 

It houses many architectural vestiges and artifacts from Pre-Thang Long period to Dinh - Pre-Le (10th century), Ly - Tran (11th to 14th centuries), Post-Le - Mac (15th to 18th centuries). Artifacts here are mostly porcelain and ceramic wares used in the imperial citadel through various stages of development. The findings paved the way for researchers to study ceramics made in Thang Long in general and ceramic wares used in Imperial Citadel of Thang Long through different dynasties.

 

Flag Tower

Built in 1805 under the reign of King Gia Long, Flag Tower is one of the few constructions of Ha Noi Citadel, which have survived almost intactly. It now lies within Viet Nam Military History Museum compound.

Flag Tower consists of three storeys of bases and one tower. The pyramid-shaped bases are tiled with bricks. The first storey is 170m in perimeter and 3.1m in height. Each side of the second storey is 27m long and 3.7m high. There are four doors at this storey. On the eastern-looking door are two Han characters meaning "welcoming sunrise", on the western-looking one, "reflection of light", and on the southern-looking one, "looking towards light". Only the northern-looking door has no Han characters. Each side of the third storey is 12.8m long and 5.1m high. The door leads to the staircase that turns to the north. The body of the flag tower lies on this storey. It is an eight-sided cylinder, getting narrower as it reaches the height of 18.2m. There is a 54-step spiral staircase leading to the top inside. For ventilation and light, there are four or five asterisk-shaped holes on each of the eight sides. On the highest location of each side is a sector-shaped hole.

The top of the flag tower takes the shape of an eight-sided observation floor that is 3.3m in height. Each side has one door. At the top of the floor is a round column, 0.4m in diameter where the flag has fixed since Ha Noi’s liberation day (10 October 1954).

 

Doan Mon

Doan Mon is the main gate of Forbidden Citadel, directs toward the South. Doan Mon is U-shaped, 46.5m in length, 26.5m in width and 6m in height. Constructed of stone and large square bricks, Doan Mon has three floors. The first floor includes 5 doors, of which the central door reserved for kings is the largest one.The second floor is surrounded by a balustrate and reached by two flights of stairs. The third floor features a gazebo-style pavilion with two-layer roof. Dragon faces adorn the gables.

 

Kinh Thien Palace

Kinh Thien Palace was the centre of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Le Dynasty and Ha Noi Citadel in Nguyen Dynasty.

 

In 1886, the French colonists destroyed Kinh Thien Palace, except two sets of stone dragon steps and had a house built on the foundation of the palace including 2 floors with 7 rooms. The house was used as French headquarters of artillery and called Dragon House because there are sets of stone dragon steps at the front and the back of the house.

 

When Ha Noi was liberated in 1954, Dragon House became general headquarters of Vietnamese People's Army. It is now a relic of revolution and history, opened frequently for visitors.

Building D67

Building D67 was the general headquarters of the North Vietnamese Armed Forces during resistance war against American imperialists.



Building D67 was erected, as its name suggests, in 1967 in the back of Dragon House with the length of 43.02m, width of 20.85m, height of 7.89m. The building contained meeting rooms for the Politburo of the Vietnamese Communist Party, as well as the offices of General Vo Nguyen Giap and General Van Tien Dung. Doors of the two offices lead to stairs to the underground bunker located in area between Building D67 and Dragon House. The bunker is 9m deep and reinforced to withstand bombing.

 

Hau Lau (Back Pavilion)

Hau Lau was built in the north (the back) of Kinh Thien Palace for peace according to feng shui principles. Therefore, it’s called Tinh Bac Lau or Back Pavilion.  Hau Lau was also known as the Princesses’ building because it was accommodation for concubines of Nguyen Kings during their trip to Ha Noi Citadel. At the end of the 19th century, Hau Lau was seriously damaged due to war and reconstructed by French as military post of French army. At present, Hau Lau is the place to exhibit some artifacts found in surrounding area as well as images about Ha Noi through some historical periods.

 

Bac Mon

Bac Mon (Northern Gate) is the last remains of five gates of Ha Noi Citadel under the Nguyen Dynasty. Built of brick in 1805, Bac Mon is 8.71m high and 17.08m wide. Its two wooden doors, 16 tons in weight, spread over 24m², running on bronze wheels weighing some 80kg. The two holes caused by the cannonballs from a French war ship on 25 April 1873 in its outside wall still remain. Bac Mon now is open to visitors.

 

Forbidden City wall and eight gates from the Nguyen Dynasty

In 1805, during the reconstruction of Ha Noi Citadel in the Vauban style, a new wall was constructed around truncated Forbidden City encompassing former Kinh Thien Palace site. The royal palace area bound by this wall was used by Nguyen Kings when they were visiting the North. It has eight gates, of which two gates are located in the both sides of Doan Mon in the south, two gates in the back of Hau Lau in the north, one gate faces Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in the east, one gate faces Hoang Dieu Street in the west and two gates in the both sides of Kinh Thien Palace foundation. At present, Forbidden City wall and eight gates still remain.

 

Opening time: 8.00am - 5.00pm (except Mondays)

Fare: Adults: VND 30,000/person

         Children (under 15 years old): Free

ALBUM
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Old Quarter

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WHERE TO STAY
Anh Trang Hotel

Add: 25 Chau Long St., Ba Binh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3823 9503

Mai Anh Hotel

Add: 109 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3823 2702

Star View Hotel

Add: 120 Quan Thanh St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3715 3008 / 06

Hanoi Daewoo Hotel

Add: 360 Kim Ma St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3831 5000

Sofitel Plaza Hanoi

Add: 1 Thanh Nien St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3823 8888

Fortuna Hotel Hanoi

Add: 6B Lang Ha St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3831 3333

Candle Hotel

Add: 287 - 301 Doi Can St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3733 9933

Red Hotel

Add: 97A Nguyen Truong To St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3716 4143

Lakeside Hotel

Add: 23 Ngoc Khanh St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3835 0111

Thu Huong Hotel

Add: 97 Nguyen Truong To St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3716 3030

Paradise Hotel

Add: 45 Nguyen Truong To St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3716 4126

VMQ Hotel

Add: 87 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3823 6019

Khan Quang Do Hotel

Add: 189 Hoang Hoa Tham St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3845 6987

La Thanh Hotel

Add: 218 Doi Can St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3832 5123

Thanh Cong Hotel

Add: 101 Lang Ha St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3856 3030

BSC Hotel

Add: 77B Kim Ma St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3823 2502

Lieu Giai Hotel

Add: 28 Lieu Giai St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3834 7080

Hanoi Luxury Hotel

Add: 46 Chau Long St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3715 2993

Platinum Hotel

Add: 67 Hang Than St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3927 4222

Thuong Mai Hotel

Add: 216 Doi Can St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3845 3852

WHERE TO EAT
Q&Q Restaurant

Add: 73 Nui Truc St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 6273 2025

Edo Restaurant ( Daewoo Hotel )

Add: 360 Kim Ma St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3831 5000

Ete Restaurant Bar

Add: 95 Giang Van Minh, Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 0976 751 331

Wine Art Restaurant

Add: 40 Cao Ba Quat St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3734 3908

Five Spice Restaurant

Add: 27 Hong Phuc, Hoan Kiem Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3715 3020

Kinh Hoa Dai Tuu Lau Restaurant

Add: 189 Hoang Hoa Tham St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3843 5933/ 3847 0461

Pizza 112 Restaurant

Add: 112-H2 Thanh Cong, Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3772 1289

Hoa Quynh Restaurant

Add: 108K1 Lang Ha St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3826 7782

Aladin Restaurant

Add: 144I/D2 Giang Vo St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3834 4605

Pizza Hoa Y Restaurant

Add: 112 H1 Thanh Cong, Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3772 4728

Italy Rialto Restaurant

Add: 74 Cua Bac St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 2215 5512

RC Villa Restaurant

Add: 20 Nguyen Bieu St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 6273 7437

Wa Japanese Cuisine

Add: 7 Truc Bach St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3715 3663

Au Lac do Brazil Restaurant

Add: 6A Cao Ba Quat St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3845 5224

Bi Do Restaurant

Add: 105 K1 Giang Vo St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Quan Bo De Tam

Add: 34 Pham Huy Thong St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3724 5872/ 0929398189

Long Vi Restaurant

Add: 175 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Ba Dinh Dist.

Tel: (84-24) 3734 9897