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Citadel of the Ho Dynasty

Citadel of the Ho Dynasty

The 14th -century Ho Dynasty citadel, built according to the feng shui principles, testifies to the flowering of neo-Confucianism in late 14th century Viet Nam and its spread to other parts of east Asia. According to these principles it was sited in a landscape of great scenic beauty on an axis joining the Tuong Son and Don Son mountains in a plain between the Ma and Buoi rivers. The citadel buildings represent an outstanding example of a new style of south-east Asian imperial city.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Citadelle de la dynastie Hô

La Citadelle de la dynastie Hô du XIVe siècle, construit selon les principes du feng shui, témoigne de l'épanouissement du néoconfucianisme dans le Viet Nam de la fin du XIVe siècle et de sa diffusion dans d'autres parties d'Extrême-Orient. En vertu de ces principes, il est situé dans un paysage aux panoramas d'une grande beauté sur un axe reliant les montagnes de Tuong Son et de Don Son dans une plaine entre les fleuves Ma et Buoi. Les bâtiments de la Citadelle représentent un exemple exceptionnel d'un nouveau style de ville impériale du Sud-Est asiatique.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

قلعة سلالة هو

قلعة سلالة هو، من القرن السادس عشر، شيدت على مبادئ "فينغ شوي"، وتشهد على انتشار النيكونفوشية في فيتنام ذلك العصر ومناطق أخرى من الشرق الأقصى. وبناء على هذه المبادئ فإنها تقع ضمن مشهد شامل ذي جمال نادر على محور يربط بين جبال تيونغ سون ودون سون في سهل بين نهري ما وبيوي. وتعطي أبنية القلعة نموذجا استثنائيا لأسلوب بناء جديد للمدينة الملكية في جنوب شرق آسيا.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


修建于14世纪,城堡的建设遵循了风水的原则,是14世纪末期传到越南及东亚其他地区新儒家思想发扬光大的见证。城堡建在连接起长山(Tuong Son)与东山(Don Son)山脉的轴线上,位于马江与八里河(Buoi)之间平原上一片风景秀丽之处。壮观的城堡建筑本身代表着东南亚王城建设历史中曾涌现出的一种新风格。

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Цитадель династии Хо

Цитадель 14-го века, созданная в соответствии с принципами фэн-шуй, является свидетельством расцвета нео- конфуцианства во Вьетнаме в эту эпоху и его распространения на другие районы Восточной Азии. Согласно этим принципам, цитадель была воздвигнута в живописной местности в междуречье Ма и Буои, по оси, соединяющей горы Туонг Сон и Дон Сон. Сооружения цитадели являются выдающимся образцом нового стиля архитектуры имперского города юго-восточной Азии.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ciudadela de la dinastía Ho

La ciudadela de la dinastía Ho, construida en el siglo XIV siguiendo los principios del feng shui, es testimonio del florecimiento del neoconfucianismo a finales del siglo XIV en Viet Nam y su expansión por otras zonas del este asiático. Siguiendo estos principios, la ciudadela se encuentra en un paisaje de gran belleza, con un eje que toca las montañas Tuong Song y Don Son en una llanura entre los ríos Ma y Buoi. Los edificios de la ciudadela representan un ejemplo excepcional de un estilo nuevo de ciudad imperial del sureste asiático.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

14世紀のホー(胡)王朝の城塞は、風水原理に則って建設されており、14世紀末のベトナムにおける朱子学の開花と、その東アジアの他地域への普及に関する証拠となっている。 これらの原理に従って、マ川とブオイ川に挟まれた平野にそびえるチュオンソン山とドンソン山を結ぶ軸線上の風光明媚な地が選ばれ、この城塞は建設された。この建築郡は、東南アジアにおける都城の新様式として傑出した代表例である。

source: NFUAJ

Citadel van de Ho-dynastie

De 14e eeuwse citadel van de Ho-dynastie is gebouwd volgens de Feng Shui-beginselen. De citadel getuigt van de bloei van het neo-confucianisme in Vietnam in de 14e eeuw en de verspreiding daarvan naar andere delen van Oost-Azië. Volgens de Feng Shui-beginselen werd de Ho-dynastie citadel gesitueerd in een gebied van grote landschappelijke schoonheid op de as die de Tuong Son en Don Son bergen verbindt, in een vlakte tussen de Ma en Buoi rivieren. De binnenste citadel werd gebouwd van grote kalkstenen blokken, wat een nieuwe ontwikkeling was op gebied van de architectonische technologie en stadsplanning.

Source: unesco.nl

South Gate: view from inside (SouthWest axis) © management Broad of Citadel of the Ho Dynasty
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Citadel of Ho Dynasty built in 1397, composed of the Inner Citadel, La Thanh Outer Wall and the Nam Giao Altar covers 155.5 ha, surrounded by a buffer zone of 5078.5 ha. It is located in accordance with geomantic principles in a landscape of great scenic beauty between the Ma and Buoi rivers in Vinh Loc district, Thanh Hoa province of Viet Nam. The Inner Citadel constructed of large limestone blocks represents a new development of architectural technology and adaptation of geomantic city planning in an East Asian and South-east Asian context. It demonstrates the use of architectural elements in terms of space management and decoration designed for a centralized imperial city in order to show a concept of royal power, based on the adoption of the Confucian philosophy within a predominantly Buddhist culture. Being the capital of Viet Nam from 1398 to 1407 and also the political, economic and cultural centre of North Central Viet Nam from the 16th to the 18th century, it bears exceptional testimony to a critical period in Vietnamese and South-east Asian history when traditional kingship and Buddhist values were giving way to new trends in technology, commerce and centralized administration.

Criterion (ii): The property exhibits Chinese Confucianism influence on a symbol of regal centralized power in the late 14th – early 15th century. It represents new developments in architectural style with respect to technology and, in adapting pre-existing geomantic city planning principles in an East Asian and South-east Asian context, makes full use of the natural surroundings and incorporated distinctly Vietnamese and East and Southeast Asian elements in its monuments and landscape.

Criterion (iv): The Ho Citadel is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble in a landscape setting which illustrates a flowering of pragmatic Neo-Confucianism in late 14th century Viet Nam, at a time when it was spreading throughout East Asia to become a major philosophical influence on government in the region. The use of large blocks of stone testifies to the organizational power of the Neo-Confucian state, and the shift in the main axis distinguishes the Citadel layout from the Chinese norm.


The integrity of the property is guaranteed by the areas of the three major components which represent the characteristics of the Ho Dynasty: the Inner Citadel, the Nam Giao altar and part of La Thanh Outer Wall. These elements reflect the presence of a citadel that has remained almost intact, with massive stone walls within a landscape setting that is easily recognizable. Excavations have also demonstrated a rich source of archaeological evidence preserved underground below the present rice and other crops within the boundaries of the three components. The buffer zone includes all cultural elements that were part of a large imperial city during the late 14th – early 15th century, including religious monuments, traditional villages, common houses, ancient roads, markets, landing places and scenic beauty spots, which are a direct tangible expression of the cultural values of the property.


The conditions of authenticity in terms of the geo-cultural location and landscape setting of the property are almost unchanged; the layout and architectural design and materials of the Inner Citadel’s walls, four gates, sections of moat, and section of La Thanh Outer Wall and archaeological remains of Nam Giao Altar are well preserved. The archaeological excavations in the property reveal well-preserved structures contemporaneous with the Ho Dynasty.

Protection and management requirements

The Inner Citadel and Nam Giao Altar were designated in 1962 as national heritage by Decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and are protected under the Law on Cultural Heritage of 29/06/2001. The nominated section of La Thanh Outer Wall is in the process of being similarly protected. The buffer zone is protected by the Law on Environmental Protection of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, number 52/2005/QH11, Chapter 4, Article 31 of 2005. The property is directly managed by the People’s Committees of the relevant communes for the particular component sites, under the Management Board of the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty established by Decision 2264/QD-UBND (30 July 2007).

A comprehensive five–year Management Plan for the property was submitted in November 2010. The control of urban development near the Inner Citadel, in Vinh Loc town particularly along the axis between the Inner Citadel and Mount Don Son, and in the buffer zone generally should receive specific attention so as to protect all view lines along the axes between topographical features, and views within the area enclosed by the line of the outer wall and the Ma and Buoi rivers. Special attention is needed for the development of a risk-preparedness and management strategy and a strategy for involving local people in the protection and management of the property. The local authority and people are working closely for the preservation and protection of the property through a training and public-awareness raising programme.