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Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi

Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.

Secteur central de la cité impériale de Thang Long-Hanoï

La cité impériale de Thang Long, édifiée au XIe siècle par la dynastie Viêt des Ly, concrétise l'indépendance du Dai Viêt. Elle a été construite sur les vestiges d'une citadelle chinoise remontant au 7e siècle, dans les terrains drainés du delta du fleuve Rouge à Hanoï. Elle fut le lieu du pouvoir politique régional de manière continue pendant près de treize siècles. Les édifices de la cité impériale et les vestiges de la zone archéologique 18 Hoang Diêu expriment une culture originale du Sud-Est asiatique propre à la basse vallée du fleuve Rouge, à l'intersection des influences venues de la Chine, au nord, et de l'ancien royaume du Champa au sud.

مدينة ثانغ لونغ الإمبراطورية في هانوي

بنت سلالة لي فيت مدينة ثانغ لونغ الإمبراطورية في القرن الحادي عشر، مما طبع بداية استقلال فيتنام الكبرى أو داي فيت. وتم تشييد هذه المدينة على أنقاض قلعة صينية تعود إلى القرن السابع في أراضٍ تابعة لدلتا النهر الأحمر في هانوي تم صرف مياهها لأغراض البناء. وكانت هذه المدينة مركز السلطة السياسية الإقليمية لحوالى 13 قرناً، من دون انقطاع. وتعكس مباني المدينة الإمبراطورية والأنقاض الموجودة في الموقع الأثري بشارع هوانغ ديو رقم 18 ثقافة فريدة في جنوب شرق آسيا يتفرد بها الجزء السفلي لوادي النهر الأحمر الذي كان بمثابة ملتقى للاتجاهات الآتية من الصين شمالاً، ومملكة شامبا القديمة جنوباً.

source: UNESCO/ERI

河内升龙皇城

河内升龙皇城成为被列入教科文组织《世界遗产名录》的第900个遗址。皇城建于11世纪越南李王朝时期,是“大越”独立的标志。此处原是公元7世纪时,由中国在红河三角洲的一块土地上排水而建的一座城堡。直至13世纪,这里一直是区域政治权力中心。皇城建筑物与黄耀街18号考古遗址反映了东南亚——确切地说红河下游河谷——在北部的中国与南部的占城古王国交互影响下出现的独特文化。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Императорская цитадель Тханг Лонг, Ханой

Императорская цитадель Тханг Лонг стала 900-м объектом культуры, занесенным в Список Всемирного наследия ЮНЕСКО. Крепость была построена в 11-м веке, в эпоху династии Ли Вьет как символ независимости королевства Даи Вьет. Она была построена на развалинах китайской крепости седьмого века, на осушенных землях, отвоеванных в дельте Красной реки у Ханоя. На протяжении почти 13 веков это был бессменный центр региональной политической власти. Сооружения Императорской цитадели и развалины, сохранившиеся на территории археологического памятника 18 Хоанг Дьё, отражают уникальную культуру Юго-Восточной Азии, характерную для нижней части долины Красной реки, где слились культурное влияние Китая, распространявшегося с севера, и древнего королевства Чампа – с юга.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ciudad imperial de Thang Long-Hanoi

La ciudadela imperial de Thang Long-Hanoi (Viet Nam) se convirtió en el sitio número 900 inscrito en la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO. Fue edificada en el siglo XI por la dinastía Viêt de los Ly para concretizar la independencia del Dai Viêt. Fue construida en los vestigios de una fortaleza china del siglo VII en terrenos drenados del delta del Río Rojo, en Hanoi. Durante casi trece siglos fue sede del poder político regional. Los edificios de la ciudad iperial y los vestigios de la zona arqueológica 18 Hoang Diêu son la expresión de una cultura original del sureste asiático, propia del bajo valle del Río Rojo, en la intersección de influencias venidas de China, en el norte, y del antiguo valle de Champa, en el sur.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Centrale gedeelte van de keizerlijke citadel van Thang Long - Hanoi

De keizerlijke citadel van Thang Long werd gebouwd in de 11e eeuw door de dynastie Ly Viet ter gelegenheid van de onafhankelijkheid van de Dai Viet. De citadel werd gebouwd op de overblijfselen van een uit de 7e eeuw daterend Chinees fort dat zich bevond op drooggelegd land, teruggewonnen van de Rode Rivierdelta van Hanoi. Gedurende bijna 13 eeuwen was hier vrijwel onafgebroken het centrum van de regionale politieke macht gevestigd. De keizerlijke citadelgebouwen weerspiegelen een unieke Zuid-Oost-Aziatische cultuur, kenmerkend voor de lagere Rode Riviervallei; een kruispunt tussen de invloeden uit China in het noorden en het oude koninkrijk van Champa in het zuiden.

Source: unesco.nl

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Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi © Our Place
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief summary

The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long -- Hanoi, located in the heart of the capital of Viet Nam, is the most important and best-preserved part of the ancient Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Vietnamese Ly Dynasty, marking the independence of the Đại Việt.  It was built on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi.  It was the centre of regional political power for almost thirteen centuries without interruption.

The buildings of the Imperial Citadel and the remains in the 18 Hoang Diêu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads of influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is characterized by its longevity and continuity as a seat of power, evidenced by different archaeological levels and monuments.

Criterion (ii):  The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi bears witness to the meeting of influences coming mainly from China in the north and the Kingdom of Champa in the south.  It expresses a set of intercultural exchanges which shaped a unique culture in the lower Red River Valley.

Criterion (iii):  The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long bears witness to the long cultural tradition of the Viêt populations established in the Delta and the lower Red River Valley.  It was a continuous seat of power from the 7th century through to the present day.

Criterion (vi): The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long at Hanoi, with its political function and symbolic role, is directly associated with numerous and important cultural and historical events, and leading artistic expressions and moral, philosophical, and religious ideas.  The succession of these events marks the formative and development process of an independent nation over more than a thousand years, including the colonial period and the two contemporary Wars of Independence and reunification of Viet Nam. 

Integrity

The continuity of its political role is demonstrated by the archaeological elements brought to light and by the later built elements of the Thang Long Citadel.  In spite of absent and not always very visible evidence, the conditions of integrity in terms of the architecture, structure and landscaping of the property are acceptable.  The very promising archaeological vestiges of the 18 Hoang Diêu site must be completed by a study programme on the scale of the property for confirmation of the archaeological integrity.

Authenticity

The degree of authenticity expressed by the architecture of Thang Long corresponds to buildings of the late 19th and the 20th centuries.  Older buildings, dating back to the dynastic periods, notably the Doan Mon Gate and the Hau Lau Palace, have been restored and modified.  However, these changes are related to the political history of the property.  Over the long historical period of the Citadel of Thang Long, the archaeological authenticity of the property is good, even if expressed by only a small excavation area.  The degree of authenticity of the architecture is variable depending on the period examined, being more satisfactory for the contemporary and colonial buildings.

Protection and management requirements

The legal protection of the property is based primarily on two laws:  the Law on Cultural Heritage (2001) which ensures the protection of the various recognized moveable and immoveable components of the property, and the Law on Construction for all work and projects.  In the event of discordance in the application of these two laws, for example for a proposed project in the territory of the property nominated for inscription, the Law on Heritage Management takes precedent. The legal protection in place is appropriate for the property, but it must be completed and a wider buffer zone should be envisaged.  

The management authority is well-defined and already functional:  in 2006, the People's Committee of Hanoi entrusted the Co Loa and Thang Long Vestiges Preservation Centre, also called Thang Long Centre, with the responsibility for the management of the property. The general guidelines of the Management Plan are satisfactory, but this Plan must be enacted, and the archaeological studies component should be strengthened and expanded. Furthermore, the capacity building for the personnel involved in the conservation of the property should be enhanced.

Historical Description

The Viet or Kinh, the majority ethnic group in contemporary Vietnam, see themselves as a people that go back to the creation of the world, for which they have their own cosmogony. According to legend the foundation of the Empire dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE, when some fifteen kings and queens met to elect the first Emperor of the Nam Viet (the lands of the southern Viet).

In the 6th century BCE an independent kingdom was established, known as Van Lang, which straddled modern Guandong and northern Vietnam. The earliest written evidence indicating permanent human settlement in the Red River Delta dates from 211 BCE. A rural society with extensive hydraulic knowledge developed here, at the crossroads of cultural influences from the Chinese area to the north and civilizations in South-East and southern Asia.

Under the pressure of the Han Dynasty, the Viet Kingdom was reduced to the lower Red River Valley, which was finally conquered in 111 BCE. It then became one of the kingdoms of the southern marches of the Chinese Empire, and remained under its political and cultural control for almost one thousand years. The last phase of this long period of Vietnamese history is referred to as the Dai La Period. It was at this time that the first Chinese citadel was erected on the site of Hanoi, as indicated by the presence of wells and remains from the 7th-10th centuries CE.

Chinese domination of the Delta and the lower Red River Valley ended in the 10th century with the return of an autonomous dynasty (Dinh-Le) and the establishment of the independent Kingdom of Dai Viet in the lower Red River Valley. The development of a new citadel, Thang Long, on the site where the former had stood, confirmed this independence in the early 11th century (Ly Dynasty). The Citadel surrounded the enlarged Forbidden City built in brick in 1029 and was itself surrounded by a defensive wall. As the seat of power and the royal residence, a Chinese layout was adopted for the Citadel. It does, however, also illustrate the geomantic principles specific to Viet history and culture.

At the same time as the Dai Viet Kingdom asserted itself at the end of the 1st millennium CE, the Kingdom of Champa, a people with cultural influences from the Indian Ocean, developed in the centre and south of modern Vietnam. It was in contact with the powerful and rapidly expanding Khmer Empire, and it was an essential link between the spread in South-East Asia of cultures from India and southern Asia, Buddhism in particular.

The long history of this region of the lower Red River, and especially the Citadel that forms the nominated property, is characterized by the continuous interaction between Viet peoples and the various Chinese dynasties and their Confucian and Taoist traditions, and also with the Kingdom of Champa to the south, marked byBuddhist traditions. It was an essentially agrarian civilization, with considerable expertise in drainage, dykes, and agricultural hydraulics.

Buddhist culture spread during the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) Dynasties and played an essential role in the development of institutions and social and religious life. The Dai Viet Kingdom extended its influence and expanded. A change to the Le Dynasty (1428-1789) led to a return to Confucian values and to more rapid development, especially in the 15th century. Hanoi was at this time one of the most important South- East Asian ports. The erection of Kinh Thien Palace, in the heart of the Forbidden City, marked the apogee of the architecture and urban planning of the Viet culture itself. The Citadel reached its maximum size in the 16th- 17th centuries, whilst a district of artisans and traders serving the rulers also developed. Thang Long Citadel, and especially the Forbidden City, played an essentially political and administrative role, along with the expression of royal etiquette. It was also the period of conquest of the Kingdom of Champa to the south, giving the dynasty a truly Imperial dimension.

However, a political change gradually took place, starting in the mid-17th century. The Emperor played an increasingly symbolic role, with the real power being exercised by two powerful families, the Trinh in the north and the Nguyen in the south. The latter prevailed at the beginning of the 18th century and established a new dynasty, with its new capital in the more centrally located Hué.

Thang Long still remained the northern Citadel, the Emperor's residence when travelling to the region. Its fortification system was rebuilt (1805), based on the European model of Vauban.

French colonial troops were present in modern southern Vietnam from the 1860s onwards. They undertook the conquest of the north in the 1880s. Thang Long once again became the centre of power. It was in particular the headquarters of the colonial power for the vast regional ensemble of French Indochina (modern Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia). Many palaces were rebuilt in a European style, generally Neoclassical, such as Kinh Thien Palace, the former heart of the Forbidden City (1886). The Governor's Palace (in the buffer zone) was built and the fortifications were razed so as to permit a European type of urban development, including wide boulevards around and within the ancient Citadel (end of the 19th century).

After the First War of Independence (1954) and the division of Vietnam into two entities, the Viet Min power settled in Hanoi and the ancient Forbidden City became the military headquarters for North Vietnam. During the Second War, against South Vietnam and the United States, the D67 underground command bunker was installed within the area of Kinh Thien Palace (1967).

The Ministry of Defence gradually abandoned its use of the property between 1994 and 2004, handing it over for cultural and historic uses. The site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street, initially chosen for the construction of the National Assembly, was found to be of exceptional archaeological value (2002). The project was maintained, but on a smaller portion of the initial site.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation