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Introduction

Welcome to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi!

Situated at the heart of Hanoi, the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an outstanding place of interest not only for the capital city but also for the country as a whole. The site is one of the ten special national heritage sites proclaimed by the Prime Minister in 2009 and was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2010. Its Outstanding Universal Values are reflected in its historical longevity, its continuous role as a seat of power, and its multiple cultural layers.

The World Heritage Site comprises two sections: the archaeological site at 18 Hoang Dieu Street and the central axis of the Nguyen Dynasty’s Citadel of Hanoi, which together create an integrated heritage complex. This was the most important sector of Thang Long Citadel, the capital of Dai Viet under the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties from the 11th to the 18th centuries. It was also the core of the earlier Dai La Citadel, dating from the period when the region was ruled directly by China (7th to 9th centuries) and the headquarters of the North Vietnamese government and army during the Resistance War against the Americans (also known as the Vietnam War) between 1954 and 1975.

Standing monuments in the Nguyen Dynasty’s Ancient Citadel include the Flag Tower (Ky Dai), the South Gate (Doan Mon), the Kinh Thien Palace Foundation, the Princess’s Pagoda (Hau Lau), and the North Gate (Bac Mon).

The 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site, located about 100 meters to the West of Kinh Thien Palace Foundation, is an important part of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi. This is a site of immense archaeological value, which accommodates a huge complex of architectural relics and an exceedingly large volume of artifacts overlapping and alternating one another, dating back to the Dai La (7th to 9th centuries), Dinh Dynasty, Anterior Le Dynasty (10th century), Ly Dynasty (1009-1225), Tran Dynasty (1226-1400), Early Le Dynasty (1428-1527), Restored Le Dynasty (1593-1789) and Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945)

The standing monuments and subterranean vestiges of palaces, together with numerous other unique artifacts unearthed in the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi are invaluable assets not only of Vietnam but also the entire human race.

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