Chem Temple: A masterpiece by the Red River

11:08 | 06/08/2018 Culture & Art

(VEN) - With its special architectural values, the more than 2,000 years old Chem Temple in Thuy Phuong Ward of Hanoi’s Bac Tu Liem District has been recognized as a special national relic site.

a masterpiece by the red river

The temple was built in the seventh century, near the southern end of the Thang Long Bridge. The temple turns its back on one of the dykes and overlooks the Red River.

The temple is dedicated to Ly Than, also known as Ly Ong Trong, who was born in Chem Village under the reign of Hung Due Vuong, the 18th and also the last Hung King.

Ly Ong Trong, considered Vietnam’s first diplomat, supported An Duong Vuong to defeat the Qin invaders from the north and fulfilled his mission of keeping peace when he served as an envoy to the Qin Dynasty.

Chem Temple is home to many objects with great historical and cultural values, including 16 books, three royal recognition decrees and two bronze bells from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), four steles and 10 worship statues.

Particularly, the temple contains a millennium-old incense burner and a bronze gutter system made in 1748 and 1756. To commemorate Ly Ong Trong, locals in Chem Village, which is now Thuy Phuong Ward, and Hoang and Mac villages, now Lien Mac Ward, hold a festival on the 15th day of the fifth lunar month each year.

The festival was named a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2016. Speaking at the special national relic site certificate-receiving ceremony, Chairman of the Bac Tu Liem District People’s Committee Do Manh Tuan said the certification not only helps promote and honor Vietnam’s historical and cultural heritage values in general, and of Hanoi in particular, but also contributes to generating Vietnamese pride in the country’s ancestors.

Secretary of the Party Committee of Bac Tu Liem District Truong Quang Thieu said at the ceremony that the district will encourage the public to protect and preserve local cultural relic sites, including Chem Temple, as a way to promote tourism.

In an attempt to bring into play the values of relic sites in the period of international integration and development, Hanoi has restored many temples, communal houses and traditional festivals, including the outstanding Chem Temple.

Thanh Tam