5 ancient gates in Hanoi and traces of Thang Long Citadel

VietNamNet Bridge – Making a tour to the five ancient gates and the ruins of the ancient Thang Long Citadel in Hanoi makes an interesting afternoon for travelers.



5 ancient gates in Hanoi and traces of Thang Long Citadel

Thang Long Royal Citadel.


In the past Thang Long was a big city, the capital of Vietnam under different dynasties. Most of the system of citadels, temples, royal tombs have been destroyed by times and wars. However, if you love the history and discovery, you can still visit the famous sites, which markthe long history of Hanoi since King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh province today) to Thang Long (Hanoi).

The first location is the Thang Long Royal Citadel. This is the remaining relic of the ancient Forbidden City. Thang Long Citadel included the Forbidden City, La Thanh and Hao Thanh. The ancient Forbidden City was vast, the home to the king and the royal family. There were many palaces and mausoleums here.

However, in the Nguyen Dynasty, the Forbidden City was demolished and narrowed to become the Hanoi Citadel or the current Thang Long Citadel today. Under the French colonial period, the citadel was again ruined and ancient works were replaced by a number of French-style works.

Visiting Thang Long Citadel, you can explore the Hanoi Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, the floor of Kinh Thien Palace, the North Gate, and the Princess Tower... The Citadel area also has relics from the war against France and America.

You can visit the archaeological relic site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street. The relic was revealed not long ago. Archaeologists have found a wealth of evidence of a massive and monumental Thang Long royal citadel.

After visiting the Citadel, you can explore the 5 ancient gates that have been mentioned in many poems, to know more about the scale of the ancient Thang Long Citadel.

In the past the old Thang Long Citadel had many gates but the most famous gates are Dong Mac, Cau Den, Cau Giay, Cho Dua and O Quan Chuong. The ancient Thang Long citadel was surrounded by the three rivers of Hong (Red), Lich and Kim Nguu. Most gates looked to these rivers. The rivers have been narrowed. After the events of the time, only O Quan Chuong is left.


5 ancient gates in Hanoi and traces of Thang Long Citadel

O Quan Chuong Gate.


O Dong Mac is located at the end of Lo Duc Street, at the junction with Tran Khat Chan and Kim Nguu streets.

O Cau Den is at the large intersection connecting Hue, Bach Mai, Tran Khat Chan, and Dai Co Viet streets.

O Cho Dua is now atthe intersection of the six streets of Xa Dan, Kham Thien, Ton Duc Thang, Tay Son, De La Thanh, and O Cho Dua.

The position of O Cau Giay is said to be at the bridge crossing over the Lich River at the intersection of Lang – Buoi  - Cau Giay - Kim Ma.

O Quan Chuong Gate is at the intersection of Hang Chieu, Dao Duy Tu and Thanh Ha streets.

After visiting the gates, you should visit the historical monuments associated with Hanoi’s 1,000 year history. The most famous sites are Thang Long Tu Tran, the Temple of Literature and Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Thang Long Tu Tran are four sacred temples built to defend the four directions (East, West, South, North) of the ancient Thang Long capital city. The temples are considered the spirits of Hanoi.

They consist of Bach Ma (White Horse) Temple at 76 Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem District, Voi Phuc (Kneeling Elephant) Temple near Kim Ma Street and Thu Le Zoological Garden in Ba Dinh District, Kim Lien Pagoda in Quang An Village, Tay Ho District and Quan Thanh Temple at the crossroads of Thanh Nien Street and Quan Thanh Street, near West Lake, Ba Dinh District.

The four temples are very famous and they were built with bold architecture of the ancient Thang Long. Every year, the temple festivals take place, attracting numerous tourists.


5 ancient gates in Hanoi and traces of Thang Long Citadel

Quan Thanh Temple

Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam is the most famous place of the capital city of Hanoi, with Khue Van Cac as Hanoi’s symbol. Van Mieu was built in 1070 to worship the ancestors of Confucianism and was also the royal school. In 1076 King Ly Nhan Tong established Quoc Tu Giam school next to Van Mieu, which is considered the first university in Vietnam.

At the end of your journey, you can stop at the Tran Quoc Pagoda. The temple is located on an island east of West Lake, with a history of 1,500 years, the oldest temple in Thang Long - Hanoi. This was the Buddhist center of Thang Long in the Ly and Tran dynasties.

This quick trip will help you learn about the long history of Thang Long, Hanoi.

Pha Le

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