Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam handed over to Hanoi representatives certificates recognising five historic places in the city as special national relic sites at a ceremony held in the capital on February 22.
The certificates, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, recognise Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple complex, Tay Dang communal house, and the temples of Phu Dong, Hat Mon and Trung Sisters.
Speaking highly of the relics’ importance to the city, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc pledged that Hanoi will better preserve and restore them in the future.
The city also expects to receive further assistance from ministries, as well the Hanoians and overseas Vietnamese to ensure that such precious cultural jewels last forever, she added.
Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake, situated in the heart of Hanoi, is one of the city’s tourist hotspots. Legend has it that King Le Loi (1385-1442) was boating on the lake when a Golden Turtle God surfaced and asked for the return of a magic sword, named Heaven’s Will, that the Dragon King had presented to him earlier to aid his revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty. The King later renamed the lake Hoan Kiem (returned sword) to commemorate the event.
Phu Dong Temple in Gia Lam district was first built by King Hung Vuong VI, then rebuilt in the 11th century by King Ly Thai To after he moved the capital city from Hoa Lu - Ninh Binh to Thang Long (present-day Hanoi). It is dedicated to a Vietnamese national saint, Thanh Giong, who defeated Chinese invaders before returning to heaven after the country was liberated.
The Hat Mon and Trung Sisters temples worship the two Trung ladies, who rebelled against Chinese rule in 40 AD and are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam.
The Tay Dang communal house was built in the late 16th century in Ba Vi district and is famous for its architecture. It features five main rooms, four roofs and 48 columns. The top of each column is decorated with sculptures of dragons, unicorns, turtles and phoenixes made of dark brown terra-cotta.
They increased the number of recognised special national relic sites in Hanoi to nine.