Ho Dynasty Citadel - a stone wonder

The Ho Dynasty Citadel was Vietnam’s capital under the Ho Dynasty (1398-1407). Located in Vinh Loc district, it is the only citadel in Vietnam built entirely of stones and remained nearly intact.

The citadel has four gates placed following the cardinal points. In the photo is the Tien gate, facing south. It consists of three entrances, each is 9.5 m tall and 15.17 m wide.

An excavation in the southern gate unearthed a bluestone road connecting the entrance with the Nam Giao worship area. The inner road was considered the most intact among roads from the feudal period found in Vietnam.

The fortification wall was made of blue stones placed on top of each other without adhesive. Scientists estimated about 20,000 m3 of stones were used to build the entire citadel.

One of the two stone dragons placed outside the citadel. Both lost their heads

 Pattern carved on the dragons

A poem carved on the western gate

Stone balls were found during excavation at the site. They were assumed to be used in the transportation of heavy stones for construction of the citadel

Artefacts unearthed at the citadel

The Ho Dynasty Citadel was recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 2011.

Now outside the citadel are corn fields, rice paddies and earth roads.


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