The Imperial Citadel: Unearthing Hanoi’s past

16:48 | 13/03/2017 Travel

(VEN) - The Thang Long Imperial Citadel has become one of Hanoi’s prime tourist destinations. The capital is striving to enhance the value of this heritage site and other historical relics.  

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel is of special significance to Vietnam and its capital. It is also a heritage site of outstanding universal value, influenced by various cultural values throughout its 1,300-year history.

The central sector of the citadel was recognized as a special national relic in 2009 and a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2010. It consists of the archaeological site on 18 Hoang Dieu Street and the central axis of the citadel, which together make up an integrated complex that served as the capital of the Dai Viet – as Vietnam was known – under the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties from the 11th to the 18th centuries.

Remains of the Imperial City were discovered in 2008 but thus far only a small fraction of Thăng Long has been excavated.
The Ministry of Construction has issued a decision approving a detailed plan for conservation and enhancement of the central sector of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. In 2015, the prime minister issued a decision approving a master plan for conservation and enhancement of another priceless heritage site - the fortress complex of the 3rd century B.C. Co Loa Citadel in the northeastern section of Hanoi.

The scientific consultation council for the conservation of the Co Loa Citadel has also served as a consultant to the Hanoi People’s Committee and the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center to promote further excavations and archaeological explorations in accordance with the prime minister’s commitment to UNESCO.

Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung believes an overall investment project is crucial for the conservation of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The capital has set aside funds for this project, aiming to turn the citadel into a far bigger tourist draw than it is today, a cultural highlight of the capital and a significant venue for major social and political events. The Hanoi People’s Committee will work closely with the Ministry of Defense and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in conservation activities.

This year, the scientific consultation council continues to provide consultancy for implementation of the prime minister’s commitment to UNESCO on the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The council will support the preparation of a periodic report on the application of the World Heritage Convention. At the same time, it will advise the city on activities for the conservation and enhancement of the value of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Co Loa relics, such as presentations, exhibitions, information dissemination, festive and ritual activities.

Thanh Tam