Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (Hoang Thanh Thang Long) is a historical relic of the ancient Thang Long citadel, starting from the pre-Thang Long period (7th century) to the Dinh – Pre-Le period, and was strongly developed under the Ly, Tran, Le, and Hanoi City under the Nguyen Dynasty. This is a monumental architectural work, built by dynasties in many historical periods and becomes the most important relic in the system of monuments of Vietnam. The Thang Long Imperial Citadel Relic Area has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage. Here, let’s explore this historic tourist area.
1. Introduction of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel Relic Area now belongs to Dien Bien ward and Quan Thanh ward, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi. Hoang Thanh Thang Long relic area has a total area of 18,395ha, including the archaeological site of 18 Hoang Dieu and other relics left in Hanoi’s ancient citadel such as Doan Mon, Hanoi flagpole, Kinh Thien Palace, D67 House, North Gate, Hau Lau, wall, and eight gates of the palace under the Nguyen Dynasty.
This relic is limited by routes: the North is Phan Dinh Phung Street, the South is Bac Son Street and the National Assembly Building, the Southwest is Dien Bien Phu Street, the West is Hoang Dieu Street, Doc Lap Street, the National Assembly House, the East is Nguyen Tri Phuong Street. This is a place to visit definitely you will not be able to miss when traveling to Hanoi.
2. How to come to Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
To visit the Thang Long Imperial Citadel Relic Area you go to 19C Hoang Dieu is the main gate for visitors. From the center of Hanoi, you can easily go to the Hoang Thanh relic by means of vehicles such as motorbikes, cars, buses … If you take the bus you can catch route 22, this bus will stop at the stop in front of Hoang Thanh.
3. Ticket price and opening hours to visit Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
– The Thang Long Imperial Citadel Relic Area open every day (except Mondays).
– Open time:
Morning: 8 AM – 11:30 AM
Afternoon: 14 PM – 17 PM
– Entrance fee to enter the resort is: 30,000 VND / time
– For students, students aged 15 years and over (must have a student card), the elderly 60 years old and over entrance ticket price is: 15,000 VND / time
– Particularly for children under 15 years old and people with meritorious service to the revolution completely free entrance fee.
4. Places to visit in Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Archaeological Area 18 Hoang Dieu
This relic includes the bottom floor which is an eastern part of Dai La citadel under the Cao Bien time, the Tang Dynasty, the upper floor of the Ly and Tran palaces, followed by a central part of the eastern Le Dynasty and the top is a part of the 19th-century Hanoi city center.
Hanoi Flag Tower
Hanoi Flag Tower is a relic built in 1812 during Gia Long dynasty. The flagpole is 60m high, including the base, the column body, and the gazebo. The base is square with an area of 2007m² and consists of 3 levels. Each level is surrounded by floral walls and patterns. From the ground up to the 2nd level, you must climb 18 steps on the east and west faces. Want to go from level 2 to level 3 must also climb 18 steps at the two doors east and west. The third level has 4 doors, the East, the West, the South, and the North.
Kinh Thien Palace
Kinh Thien Palace is located in the center of the dragon steps. In front of Kinh Thien Palace is Doan Mon and then the Hanoi flagpole. Behind are Hau Lau, North Gate. East and West sides have walls and small doors.
Currently, traces of Kinh Thien Palace remain only old steps. The south side of the palace has a hallway over one meter high. The front, the main south direction is a stepping system made of large stones. They are 10 steps, 4 stone dragons dividing into 3 equal paths to form dragon steps.
Four stone dragons were created in the 15th century of the Le Dynasty. Kinh Thien Palace stone dragon sculpture is a masterful architectural artistic heritage, typical of sculpture art in the early Le Dynasty. Dragon is carved with bluestone, with a high protruding big head, convex eyes, longhorns, mane gliding back, mouth open with pearls. Dragon’s body curves softly into many arcs, gradually smaller towards the steps above. On the dragon’s back, there are long undulating fins like clouds.
Also known as Tinh Bac Floor is a building behind the Kinh Thien architectural cluster. Hau Lau is located in the North, built with the intention of feng-shui to keep the north. This is also the residence of the queen and princesses during the feudal period.
This is one of the five gates of Hanoi under the Nguyen Dynasty. In Cua Bac, two cannon traces still retained by French cannons fired from the Red River in 1882 when the French colonialists defeated Hanoi for the second time. Today, on the gate is the place to worship the two Hanoi governors, Nguyen Tri Phuong and Hoang Dieu.
This is where the Ministry of Defense, the Politburo, and the Central Military Leaders have made historic decisions marking the milestones of the Vietnamese revolution. Those were the Tet offensive in 1968 and 1972 and the culmination was Ho Chi Minh campaign in 1975 to liberate the South and reunify the country.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Thang Long Imperial Citadel Relic Area to understand more about the history of the capital if you have the opportunity to travel to Hanoi.