Hoa Lu Ancient Captial

Beautiful temples in Ninh Binh, North Central Vietnam

Hoa Lu overview:
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital used to be the economic, political and cultural center of Dai Co Viet (Great Viet) – the first centralized feudal state of Vietnam which existed from 968 to 1010 C.E.). It is also the native land of 3 royal dynasties: the Dinh, and the Pre – Le and Ly. The ancient capital covered an area of 300ha, including the Inner Citadel and the Outer Citadel. It was surrounded by rock mountain ranges. In the past, Hoa Lu Royal citadel was adorned with splendid palaces, magnificent temples and shrines. When King Ly Cong Uan transferred the capital to Thang Long (now known as Hanoi), it became the ancient capital. Due to the ravages of time, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel no longer exists. Now, there are only some vestiges related to the Dinh, Le and Ly dynasties. For example, there is King Dinh temple for worshipping King Dinh Tien Hoang and his sons, Le Temple worshipping King Le Dai Hanh, Queen Duong Van Nga and their sons. These relics together with the mountains ranges have stood the test of time.

Royal Edict on the transfer of the capital

In 1010 King Ly Thai To consulted the mandarins to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La (Hanoi). King Ly Thai To asked the mandarins the following questions.

…Dai La (Thang Long), the former capital (of His Highness Cao) is situated at the very heart of our country. Its position evokes that of coiled dragon, a seated tiger. It is at equal distance from the four cardinal points and is favorable to both mountains and rivers.

There, the location is sufficiently vast and flat, the land sufficiently elevated and well – exposed. There, the population is sheltered from inundations and floods. There, all is flourishing and prosperous. It is the most beautiful site bringing together men and riches coming from the four cardinal points. It is an excellent capital for a royal dynasty for ten thousand generations. I wish, therefore, to take advantage of this favorable location to establish the capital there.

hoa lu


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