The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an outstanding place of interest not only for the Hanoi but also for the country as a whole and was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2010.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, many artefacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004, including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells.
On top of these discoveries, archaeologists also found bronze coins, ceramics and pottery from China and many places in Asia, all of which demonstrate a close trading relationship in the area. Visitors should head for the display room that features interesting excavated items and mock-ups of the citadel itself.
The ancient site was the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. The Imperical Citadel of Thang Long was built in the 11th century by the Ly Dynasty, when the capital of Vietnam was relocated from Hoa Lu to Hanoi. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is the cultural complex comprising the royal enclose area built in the Ly Dynasty and expanded in Tran, Le and finally Nguyen Dynasty.
Now, it is located next to Ba Dinh Square, opposite the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum also near many important political buildings including the Vietnamese Presidential Palace.
There are three parts in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long including:
- Flag Tower of Hanoi on Dien Bien Phu Street within Army Museum area, opposite Lenin Statue & Park, adjacent to the base of the tower is Higland Cafe
- Citadel and Palaces on Hoang Dieu Street including some relics as: Kinh Thien Palace from the Le So Dynasty, with stone steps and balconies carved with dragons made in 1467; Doan Mon Gate, the southern gate of the forbidden city of Thang Long; and relics of Hanoi Citadel from the Nguyen Dynasty with Cua Bac (Northern Gate), Hau Lau (Back Tower).
- 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site on Hoang dieu Street, opposite the Citadel and Palaces was exposed in late 2003 including three layer. The deepest layer contained evidence of building from pre Thang Long period ( 7th – 9thcenturies AD) or the Dai La Citadel. The next layer contained architectural traces from the Ly – Tran dynastles ( 11th – 14th centuries AD). The top layer revealed remnanats from the Le dynasty 9 15th – 18th centuries AD).
Unlike other museums in Hanoi, you have a chance to take some photos here but all activities should be quite, not affect to other people and relics.
This prominent site is also within a 15-minute walk from attractions such as Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum and Cua Bac Church.
You can visit all days in the week except Mondays. And you should spend a half day to visit all palaces in the The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long to know more about the history of Vietnam through the Dynasties.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 08:00 – 17:00
Location: 9 Hoang Dieu, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Price Range: VND 30,000