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Thang Long royal citadel will become a cultural and historical park

Visitors will have an opportunity to see the National Assembly building, the archaeological site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street and the Thang Long royal citadel in a tour.

Under the government’s decision, the Thang Long royal citadel is a world cultural heritage and will become a cultural and historical park.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed Decision No. 696/QÐ-TTg on June 8, 2012 approving the plan to conserve the Thang Long Imperial Citadel at 18 Hoang Dieu street in Hanoi and become a cultural history park.

The plan assistants the long-term conservation of the architectural vestiges and archaeological artifacts that have been unearthed, and honour their tangible and intangible cultural heritage for future generations. It aids to promote the Citadel’s 13 century history and its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to the plan, the project will cover 45,380 square metres, including a 13,674m2 archaeological site, 3,438m2 for various exhibits, and 21,195m2 of green area as well as an ongoing 6,803m2 archaeological dig and 6,214m2 of courtyards and roads.

There will be 4 entrance gates, one each on Hoang Dieu, Doc Lap, Hoang Van Thu, and Bac Son streets. The main gate will be situated at the corner of Hoang Dieu and Bac Son streets and 2 main routes to visit the relics are being hold along with footpaths linking different points of interest.

The citadel belonged to the Ly, Tran, Early Le, Mac and Restored Le dynasties from the 11th – 18th centuries. This site also possessed the Royal Dai La Citadel in the 7th–9th centuries and the Royal Hanoi Citadel in the 19th century.

Excavation has uncovered a historical range from the 7th to the 19th century, containing the pre-Thang Long and Hanoi period. The vestiges and cultural layers continuously overlap one another through different historical periods and dynasties. Rarely is there a huge historical and cultural history that includes such a large range of historical eras. This land has been the capital for most of Vietnam’s history.
The architectural relics includes the foundation, the base of pillars, sections of brick walls, road sections, brick/gravel tiled floors, a water drainage system, water wells, and traces of lotus lakes. The new discoveries have revealed the magnitude and scale of the Thang Long Citadel that could not be manifested through written documents or old maps.

A large range of the relics in wide quantity encompass construction materials such as bricks, tiles, stone column bases, and ironwood poles. Objects possess the royal family with artifacts such as jewelry, Vietnamese ceramics and porcelains, Chinese / Japanese ceramics and porcelains (Hizen ceramics and porcelains (Hizen ceramics), bronze coins from different areas, weapons. Some of the findings are valuable, or never discovered items. These relics show the highly technical and artistic developments of the Vietnamese people in the past.

In a historical perspective, the new discovery has supplied scientific insights into the central location of the Thang Long/Dong Do/Dong Kinh Citadel, laying groundwork for a better understanding of the relationship between the Dai La Citadel with the Thang Long Citadel. This discovery will support us to develop a clearer understanding of the citadels from the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties to the Hanoi Citadel during the Nguyen Dynasty.

The relics of the Dai La Citadel were discovered in 4 sections A, B, C, and D of the excavated areas, which means the sections were located in Dai La citadel. Beyond the vestiges of the Dai La Citadel are relics of the Ly Dynasty. The name of the royal citadel was either called the “Dragon Citadel,” Phoenix Citadel,” or “Dragon Phoenix Citadel” during the Ly and Tran Dynasties.

This alerted throughout the Ly, Tran and Le Dynasties, so more research is required to prove that the citadel was situated to the west of the center. In other hand, it was part of the western side of the royal citadel. The result of the excavation in combination with old maps and documents has supplied a better picture of the royal citadel.

The citadel was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by the UNESCO in July 2010.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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