Hanh Thien village - a unique architectural complex in Nam Dinh

Nga Do
Hanh Thien, a 600 years old village in Nam Dinh, is famous for having a lot of successful laureates. The village still retains traditional architectural value which reflects the wisdom and vision of the village founders hundreds of years ago.

About Hanh Thien village

It takes about an hour to travel by car from Nam Dinh city to Hanh Thien ancient village, which looks like a carp heading to the sea. It is surrounded by the Red and Ninh Co rivers creating a beautiful landscape and serve as waterway in the village. There are 14 hamlets which are 60 meters away from each other. In the center of the village are the communal house, a temple, and a market.

Keo Hanh Thien in Nam Dinh province and Keo pagoda in Thai Binh province are twins. Associate Professor Doctor Pham Hung Cuong of the Construction University says Hanh Thien village has a complete architectural design in terms of transportation and environment. The village map was made thoroughly reflecting the qualifications and wisdom of the village predecessors.

The attraction

“Usually, through dozens of years of development, villages in the Red River Delta have evolved forming small alleys. But in Hanh Thien all alleys seem to be deliberately designed in the early days of the village formation”, said Mr Cuong.

Architects say that in the early days, all houses in Hanh Thien village look toward the Southeast showing the villagers’ respect for their living environment.

The village is surrounded by artificial canals which have roads above them- an evidence of the scientific planning by  the village founders. Mr Cuong said “The river that was dug around the village replaces many ponds inside the village because all the canals have natural flows in and out. Such design facilitates the water release through two sides of the river”.

Walking along the riverside in Hanh Thien village gives you a peace in mind. Hanh Thien village with its unique architecture and planning has become a precious heritage.

Le Thi Luyen, a third year student at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology said “This is my first visit to Hanh Thien village. I’m so impressed. It’s a friendly, ancient village that embraces Vietnamese identity. I feel peaceful when I come here.”

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