Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is the tourist destination which will bring you to a few imperial capitals of the country in the ancient and medieval eras.
Visiting Hoa Lu, you will not only have a fun and exciting time, but can learn more about culture and history as well.
Hoa Lu Ninh Binh
Location and History
Hoa Lu is some 110km or two hours from Hanoi. Located near the town of Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu is the site of a 10th-century capital of an ancient Vietnamese Kingdom called Dai Co Viet.
This small Kingdom covered an area of only 300 hectares, and reigned from the 10th century, during the Dinh and Le dynasties, to the 11th century, during the Ly Dynasty.
The Kingdom was enclosed by a citadel.
The citadel and the Yen Ngua limestone hills provided good defence for this kingdom against the Chinese.
Dinh Tien Hoang Temple at Hoa Lu
Visiting Hoa Lu
Hoa Lu old capital has a variety of historical places for visitors to pay a trip.
First and foremost, attractions catching tourists ‘ eyes are temples, where people worship the Emperors and royal people that ruled here more than 1000 years ago: Dinh Tien Hoang Emperor temple, Le Dai Hanh Emperor temple, Phat Kim Princess temple (Phat Kim is a tragic fate daughter of DinhTien Hoang Emperor), and the newest one is Ly Thai To Emperor temple, which built in order to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Hanoi.
Besides, Hoa Lu has the four sacred temples of Hoa Lu (Hoa Lu Tu Tran) to worship the Gods of four directions: Quy Minh temple, Thien Ton temple, Cao Son temple and Nguyen temple.
Moreover, Hoa Lu also has its own One Pillar Pagoda like the One-Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, but not to be confused with the one in Hanoi, Hoa Lu One-Pillar Pagoda has a Pillar full of phrase by Buddha in front of it, which stands there more than 1000 years. Along with these temples and pagodas, plenty of monuments, tombs, shrines worship many other famous people and Gods are attractive places as well.
Secondly, Hoa Lu still keeps the remaining of ancients fortress built by Dinh dynasty more than 1000 years ago.
The Imperial place lays under the ground for 3m and now become a very interesting place to visit.
Tourists will have the chance to see the old items used by the royal family in ancient time. The fortress outside is built based on the natural advantages: the mountain provides good background, the deep valley is a basement, and the rivers supply water for people inside the fortress and would become traps to fight against enemy in any case. This fortress is a very solid one that can defense against even the strongest enemy for months. On the other hand, inside the fortress is marvelous scenery for photo-taking and sight-seeing. In addition, the ancient town of Hoa Lu can easily captures tourists by its unique aspects.
The last but not least element that impresses visitors to Hoa Lu is the Festival Truong Yen which is held in February and March (Lunar calendar) which includes a chain of events that regain the spirit of the ancients Emperors: the March of Water, the Ritual for Dinh and Le Emperors, the performance of the old times, the Battles of DinhTien Hoang when he was a child, Cheo and Tuong performances, and a beauty contest for Hoa Lu women. This Festival brings back the memories of the old times, and helps the young people to have chance to know more about the traditions of their ancestors.
How to get to Hoa Lu?
You can easily get a day tour from Hanoi to visit Hoa Lu from most travel agents in Hanoi. Such a tour usually includes a boat ride at Tam Coc as well. The tour begins in the morning and ends at the early part of the afternoon. Hoa Lu is about 110km from Hanoi, and takes 2 hours to reach.
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is really an important cultural and historical site of great value in Vietnam.
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