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Tet 2018


Hoa Lu - the Ancient Capital

Hoa Lu Ancient CapitalHoa Lu ancient capital was the first capital of feudal state of Vietnam, Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu Distric, Ninh Binh Province. It is far 100 kilometer from Hanoi to the south. Since 968, Dinh Bo Linh throne in Hoa Lu, the Hoa Lu Capital has existed 41years (968-1009) in which 12 years is dynasty of Dinh and the next 29 years is dynasty of Le. Over thousands of years ago, Hoa Lu is magnificent capital. The mountains surrounded the capital as the painted veil, Hoang Long River is meander and Nho Quan, Gia Vien field has many deep trenches that are advantageous for military.
Hoa Lu ancient capital is 300 hectares width, including outside area and inside area, surrounded by a series of rocky arc mountains, spectacular scenery.
Outside area has 140 hectares width, belonging to Yen Thanh village, Truong Yen Commune. This is the main palace area with Dinh, Le Temple is the center and this is where Dinh Tien Hoang built the nation. Before the palace, there has Ma Yen Mountain.
Inside area belongs to Chi Phong Village, Truong Yen Commune which reared children and maids in the palace.
The South (to the south, opposite and connect with outside area) is surrounded by high mountains and is guarded the back, from here, it can quickly withdraw by the water.
In 1010, Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long. Hoa Lu capital becomes ancient capital. The reign of Le Hoan, he built many magnificent palaces: Bach Thao Thien Tue palace, Phong Luu palace, Bong Lai palace, Cuc Lac palace, Hoa Van palace, Truong Xuan palace, Long Loc palace which has silver roof.
Through rain and sunshine more than 10 years, the historic relics in the Hoa Lu ancient capital are almost destroyed. Currently, it remains temple of Dinh and Le built in the 17th century.
river-Hoa Lu Ancient CapitalDinh Temple was built on the background of the ancient palaces with “Ngo Mon”, lotus lake, Gia Mountain, flower garden… There has “Long Sang” made by monolithic stone is very beautiful. Next is the place that worships people who established the nation. The inner place, there has statue of Dinh Tien Hoang and his son. The carved images in stone, wood are dragon, clouds, fairies, flowers… They are sophisticatedly decorated.
Le Temple is far about 500meters from Dinh Temple. Le Temple has small scale but there has three areas: Bai Duong, worship of Pham Cu Luong- people helped Le Hoan throne, the main area: in the middle: Le Dai Hanh, on the right: Le Ngoa Trieu and on the left: Duong Van Nga. Le temple still retains many vestiges of ancient architecture with sophisticated decoration. Here, people found background of ancient palace and some ancient ceramics. They were kept at room on the left of the temple. Hoa Lu relic has some beautiful temple such as: Ngan Xuyen, Nhat Tru… which attracts a number of tourists to visit. Coming to Hoa Lu, tourist will have opportunity to sight the architecture, the majestic beauty of the whole relic. 
Entrance fee: 10.000vnd/people 
Location and History 
Hoa Lu, the capital of Dai Co Viet (an old name of Vietnam) under the Dinh and Le dynasties bears with it a legend. Being the capital of the first fundamental Government of Vietnam, Hoa Lu witnessed many important historical events: the union of Vietnam after “12 Lords Rebellion”, the war with the Song dynasty, the defense against the ancient Cambodian, and the formation of Hanoi nowadays. With the total size of 13.87 square kilometers, Hoa Lu old capital is an attractive place that history lovers should not miss out. 
Visiting Hoa Lu
Hoa Lu old capital has a variety of historical places for visitors to pay a trip.
overview-Hoa Lu Ancient CapitalFirst and foremost, attractions catching tourists ‘ eyes are temples, where people worship the Emperors and royal people that ruled here more
than 1000 years ago: Dinh Tien Hoang Emperor temple, Le Dai Hanh Emperor temple, Phat Kim
Princess temple (Phat Kim is a tragic fate daughter of DinhTien Hoang Emperor), and the 
newest one is Ly Thai To Emperor temple, which built in order to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Hanoi. Besides, Hoa Lu has the four sacred temples of Hoa Lu (Hoa Lu Tu Tran) to worship the Gods of four directions: Quy Minh temple, Thien Ton temple, Cao Son temple and Nguyen temple. Moreover, Hoa Lu also has its own One Pillar Pagoda like the One-Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, but not to be confused with the one in Hanoi, Hoa Lu One-Pillar Pagoda has a Pillar full of phrase by Buddha in front of it, which stands there more than 1000 years. Along with these temples and pagodas, plenty of monuments, tombs, shrines worship many other famous people and Gods are attractive places as well.
Secondly, Hoa Lu still keeps the remaining of ancients fortress built by Dinh dynasty more than 1000 years ago. The Imperial place lays under the ground for 3m and now become a very interesting place to visit. Tourists will have the chance to see the old items used by the royal family in ancient time. The fortress outside is built based on the natural advantages: the mountain provides good background, the deep valley is a basement, and the rivers supply water for people inside the fortress and would become traps to fight against enemy in any case. This fortress is a very solid one that can defense against even the strongest enemy for months. On the other hand, inside the fortress is marvelous scenery for photo-taking and sight-seeing. In addition, the ancient town of Hoa Lu can easily captures tourists by its unique aspects.
The last but not least element that impresses visitors to Hoa Lu is the Festival Truong Yen which is held in February and March (Lunar calendar) which includes a chain of events that regain the spirit of the ancients Emperors: the March of Water, the Ritual for Dinh and Le Emperors, the performance of the old times, the Battles of DinhTien Hoang when he was a child, Cheo and Tuong performances, and a beauty contest for Hoa Lu women. This Festival brings back the memories of the old times, and helps the young people to have chance to know more about the traditions of their ancestors. 
How to get there 
Hoa Lu can be a convenient stop on the way from Hue to Hanoi or if you are already in Hanoi, you can easily book a day tour to Ninh Binh which is only 90km south of the capital city.
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Item Reviewed: Hoa Lu - the Ancient Capital Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Trang Phạm Thị Huyền
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