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Hanoi’s ancient citadel gains popularity among tourists

Ten years after earning UNESCO’s recognition as a World Heritage site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel has gradually gained popularity among both domestic and foreign tourists and served a venue for many major cultural events of Hanoi capital city.

Kinh Thien Palace

Over the past decade, the dissemination of information on the citadel has been promoted in diversified forms, such as through exhibitions and on websites and social networks, thus helping bring the heritage closer to the public.

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel Conservation Centre has paid attention to activities to increase the quality of services such as building an information and reception system, improving the quality of guides, upgrading infrastructure, and popularising the heritage at schools.

To turn the citadel into a bright spot in terms of heritage value promotion, the centre approved two projects on preserving and promoting the value of the ancient citadel relic site and the Co Loa relic site.

To mark the 10th anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of the citadel as world cultural heritage, a wide range of activities will be organised on November 21-23 in the capital city, with the main celebration ceremony taking place at Kinh Thien Palace on November 23.

An evening tour named “Decoding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long” is scheduled to be launched later this year, promising unique experience for visitors to the world heritage site in Hanoi.

According to the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre, travellers will begin their tour at Doan Mon (Main Gate), the entrance to Cam Thanh (Forbidden area) – the king’s residence, and learn about the site’s history, architecture and functions there.

They will later enjoy an old dance right on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area and gain an insight into this dig, which contains vestiges of the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties, via tour guides’ introduction.

After visiting the exhibition hall of rare antiquities with some dating back over 1,000 years, tourists can take part in a game in which they have to identify typical objects of feudal dynasties in the past.

In this tour, they will have a chance to visit Tunnel T1, which served as the combat command headquarters of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army during the resistance war against the US, in the citadel.

At Kinh Thien Palace, travellers can offer incense to King Ly Thai To, who moved the country’s capital from Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh province to Dai La which he renamed Thang Long 1,010 years ago, as well as other kings contributing to the capital’s development.

The last destination of this trip is the archaeological site at No. 18 Hoang Dieu street, where visitors will experience a laser light show of outstanding antiquities of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

The evening tour, organised by the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre and the Hanoitourist travel company, is hoped to become a unique tourism product for the city in the time ahead.

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. The central area of the citadel was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 31, 2010.

Kinh Thien Palace is a main building in the central sector of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, which is located in what is now downtown Hanoi. It sits in the centre of the complex, facing Doan Mon (south gate) and Flag Tower.

The palace was built in 1428 and believed to be of highest importance, hosting many royal ceremonies. It was also in this palace that royal audiences were invited to discuss national issues.

The palace, however, was almost destroyed at the end of the 19th century by the French, and what remains today is a 100 cm-high banister to the south of the plot and several large stone steps with dragon carvings.

Source: VNA

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