The world cultural heritage of Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a complex of relics associated with the history of formation and development of Hanoi Capital. After historical changes, which works of the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel are still preserved?

Hanoi Flag Tower

As one of the intact preserved relics in the World Heritage Site, Hanoi Flag Tower is a symbolic historical building of the capital Hanoi.

Flag Tower of Hanoi

Built from 1805 – 1812 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long, the tower is officially called “Kỳ Đài” (Vietnamese: Kỳ means Flag; Đài means Tower), located on the southern part of Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

The Hanoi Flag Tower has a tower-like structure, 41 meters high, consisting of three base floors and a pole body, inside the flag there are stairs leading to the top. The top of the tower is an octagonal building, in the middle there is a tall round pillar, which is where the flagpole is placed.

Flag tower

During more than two centuries of existence, Hanoi Flag Tower has witnessed many heroic moments of the capital. The image of this special project was solemnly printed on the first currency issued by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Main Gate

The Main Gate (Vietnamese: Đoan Môn)  is the southern main gate leading into the ancient Forbidden City of Thang Long (one of the old name of Hanoi). This is the most imposing building in the complex of relics belonging to Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

Main Gate in Thang Long Imperial Citadel

Built in the Le Dynasty and renovated in the Nguyen Dynasty, the Main Gate has 5 symmetrical stone arched gates running through the Imperial Citadel’s divine axis. The largest middle door is reserved for the Emperor, the other doors are also for mandarins and princes of the country who are forbidden to enter and leave the palace.

Main Gate

After historical ups and downs, the centuries-old gate of Thang Long citadel still retains its solidity and majesty.
Behind Main Gate, in 1999 archaeologists dug an 85.2 m2 excavation hole to trace the ancient road. Today this hole is left open for tourists to visit.

Kinh Thien Palace

Located in the center of Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Kinh Thien Palace was the most important palace in the ancient capital of Thang Long. This is the place where the most solemn ceremonies of the royal court were held, to welcome foreign envoys or to hold court to discuss important national matters.

Kinh Thien Palace

Kinh Thien Palace was built in 1428 during the reign of King Le Thai To. At the beginning of the Nguyen Dynasty, Emperor Gia Long used this place as a palace for the Emperor to use every time he traveled to the North. During the French colonial period, the French colonialists demolished Kinh Thien Palace and built an artillery command headquarters.

Today, only the remains of the ancient Kinh Thien Palace remain: the steps and the foundation. In front of the palace, there are 10 stone steps with dragon-shaped railings, divided into three entrances. Behind the palace there are 7 smaller steps, on both sides there are two stone dragons with similar shapes.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel

According to researchers, the pair of stone dragons in Kinh Thien Palace were built in 1467. This is an architectural heritage of special value, typical of the sculptural art of the Early Le Dynasty.

Rear Palace

Located behind Kinh Thien palace, Rear Palace (Vietnamese: Hậu Lâu) relic is a unique structure in Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

Rear Palace

This building was built in the north of the palace with the purpose of guarding and creating peace (according to feng shui), so it is also called “Tĩnh Bắc Lầu” or “Hậu Lầu”. Because it was the resting place of the women in the convoy escorting Emperor to Hanoi, this place is also known as the Princess’s Palace.

Rear Palce in Hanoi

During the French bombardment of Hanoi Citadel, Rear Palace was ruined, then rebuilt by the French as a garrison for the French army. Therefore, the current architecture is a blend of Vietnamese royal architecture and 19th century French architecture.

North Gate

Located on Phan Dinh Phung street, the North Gate was built in 1805 on the foundation of the gate from the Le Dynasty.
Similar to Main Gate, the North Gate is built in the style of a gazebo – the upper floor and the lower citadel. The citadel was built very solidly with stone and brick, and the foot of the embankment was made of stone. The city gate connects from the front to the back, built in a rolling arch style.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel

The floor was partially reconstructed with a wooden frame in the style of overlapping eight roofs, tiled roofing, and doors opening in four directions. This is the place to worship Nguyen Tri Phuong and Hoang Dieu, two historical figures who sacrificed their lives to protect Hanoi citadel from the invasion of the French colonialists.

North Gate

According to researchers, although North Gate was built by the Nguyen Dynasty, at the foot of this city gate are layers upon layers of citadel relics from previous dynasties, confirming the continuity in the thousand-year history of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

Source: collected by An

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