Travel to citadel ruins in Binh Dinh Vietnam
Travel to citadel ruins in Binh Dinh, Thanh Hoang De, or Emperor Citadel, has stood the test of time as an historical witness through the ups and downs of history. Built in 1776, it was first called Do Ban Citadel, and later renamed Emperor Rampart. In 1799 the citadel was lost to the Nguyen Dynasty and the name was once again changed to Binh Dinh Wall.
The rampart is located in Nhon Hau Commune, An Nhon District in the central province of Binh Dinh. There are no signs to the citadel but travelers can ask any of the local residents for directions.
Travel to citadel ruins in Binh Dinh, I had expected the ancient rampart to be restored and crowded, like the Royal citadel in Hue City, but on the contrary, it remains as it was. Thus, even though I was standing right in front of it I did not recognize it until I asked a local, who gave a nod!
During its 200 year history, two military leaders of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vo Tanh and Ngo Tung Chau, committed suicide at the citadel when it was lost. The two royal tombs are located here.
According to a monograph by Binh Dinh, the Emperor Wall was 7,400 meters in perimeter and was built with five gates: North, West, East, South (also called Ve gate) and Tan Khai.
Currently only the South gate is open for tourists. Despite being an historical monument, there are no railings or even doors at the entrance.
Surprisingly, visitors entered the rampart without being hindered. Tran Duc Tam, an old man who works as a guard there, followed," offering a tour with his own knowledge of the history of the citadel. There was a flag tower in the centre and on the right a damaged grave with flowers and incense. At one time, there were many ramparts here, the Imperial Citadel and Purple Forbidden City among others. However, now there are no soldiers, just the whistling wind.
Two semicircle lakes have been excavated where the imperial concubines bathed, but the excavation was never finished and one, which was only partially exposed, is now covered with grass.
It is believed that Hon Da Chem (the guillotine stone) is 1.58 meters long, 1.35 meters wide and 0.38 meters thick. It was a stone where Le Van Thanh, a general of Tay Son, cut off the head of generals and high-ranking officers. Now this stone is enclosed in Thap Thap Pagoda which is opposite the wall.
Leaving the rampart, I saw two elephant statues with broken ivories; they have witnessed the history. I have been to many historical monuments, but this time I had a unique, strange feeling.
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