Dong Lac Communal House opens to tourists

Nga Do
Hanoi's Old Quarter management board opened Dong Lac Communal House to tourists on January 4 after restoration.

Dong Lac Communal House at 38 Hang Dao Street worships the gods of Cao Son, Linh Lang, and Bach Ma. Various silk products based on 17th century Le Dynasty styles are also sold there.

The house has been severely damaged over time. In 1941, it was rebuilt as residential housing and retail stores and in 1956 it was used as a convenience store. In 2000, Hanoi authorities collaborated with the French city of Toulouse to restore the communal house.

There is still a plaque from 1856 that said the communal house sold silk ao yem or brassilre and was built by Nguyen Cong Trung and his wife Nguyen Thi Tu during the Le Dynasty.

In 2004, it was recognised as a national heritage site by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to introduce traditional building techniques combined with modern restoration techniques.

Following directives from the Department of Tourism and to celebrate 11th Vietnam Heritage Day, Hanoi's Old Quarter management board issued a plaque to recognise Dong Lac Communal House as a tourist destination.

Along with silk products, other craft products such as Do paper and embroidery products.

Director of Tourism Department Do Dinh Hong said, "Dong is a Sino-Vietnamese word which means gathering and Lac means joy. Dong Lac is a joyful gathering place. We hope the displayed products will attract many domestic and international visitors, a place that can't be ignored in every tour."
Hanoi Culture Space will also hold seminars about culture and lifestyle on the second Friday of every month. The first seminars will be held with antique collector Nguyen Manh Duc on January 13, an expert on the Bui Quang Thang Festival on February 9 and painter Bui Huu Hung on March 9.

Duc will talk about Vietnamese's spiritual world via the altar and prayers associated with the Tet Holiday. Thang will lecture on spring games and Hung will discuss lacquer art in modern times.

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