The history of the Thang Long Citadel

In this interview, a Vietnamese professor talks about the history of the Thang Long Citadel in Hanoi, which is gearing up for it’s 1,000th anniversary.

The rich history of the Thang Long Citadel
VietnamNet Bridge, 28 June 2009

Architectural treasures date back to 1010 when Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly dynasty, moved the court from Hoa Lu in present-day Ninh Binh Province to Thang Long.

The Tran dynasty created a new architectural style that incorporated features of the Ly period.

Because the new capital was built on the foundations of earlier dynasties, there are still vestiges of these earlier periods, such as the drainage system and wells.

As archaeologists dug deeper, they found that each metre of earth represented a different period of history. Relics unearthed from a depth of 0.90m-1.90m were from the Le dynasty (15-18th century). Below that, at a depth of 1.90-3m, archaeologist found antiquities from the Ly and Tran dynasties (11th-14th centuries). The oldest relics were discovered at a depth of 3-4.20m, dating from the 7th-9th centuries, the Dai La or pre-Thang Long periods.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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