The history of Hanoi under 4 longest feudal dynasties and Hanoi these days

  • 03/12/2019

Hanoi has undergone a thousand years of building and defending the country, a historical evidence for the great achievements of our ancestors. Therefore, if you’re planning for a Hanoi trip, let Whatsup Vietnam tell you something about history of this land to have the best overview of Hanoi.

The capital area is adjacent to the Red River, To Lich River and Kim Ngu River and has a perimeter of more than 30 km. The rampart system, along with 3 rivers and their levees, is a moat surrounding the capital. The capital city of Thang Long consists of the Imperial Citadel surrounded by the wall, with the palace system and the communal yard inside, is the residence of mandarins, generals, soldiers and ordinary citizens. This nowadays is one of the most-visited place in Hanoi attractions tour.

1. Under the Ly dynasty (1010 - 1225)

At the end of 1009, in Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh), Ly Cong Uan was promoted as King, founding the Ly dynasty. In the following year, he moved the capital of Vietnam to the site of the Đại La Citadel and renamed Thang Long (Rising Dragon) - a name still used until today. On the basis of Dai La citadel, Ly Cong Uan built a new citadel inside these 3 rivers. The east goes to the Red River, the north and the west belong to the To Lich river and the south is the Kim Ngu river. The citadel near the West Lake is home to royal palaces and intertidal buildings, all surrounded by a brick citadel. The rest is civil zone, divided into wards, including agricultural ward, handicraft ward and industrial ward, separated or interwoven. Both areas (royal and civil) are called the citadel, surrounded by the citadel, developed from the dykes of the three aforementioned rivers.

Thang Long Citadel was built in 1010

Thus, over a hundred years, after becoming the capital, Thang Long was built to become the largest political - economic - cultural center and typical for the whole country. Citadels, dikes, architectural types of palaces, pagodas, cultural works,etc., all blends with nature to create a unique look of the city.

2. Under the Tran dynasty (1226-1400)

The Ly Dynasty after two centuries of ruling came to a recession. The Tran dynasty replaced, stopping the chaos, and reinstating the socio-political order. The Tran dynasty strengthened the citadel and built a new palace. The capital is still kept the old boundary but it was more crowded. In 1230, planned administrative units, the capital was divided into 61 wards. This area also receives many foreign traders and residents. In 1274, 30 Chinese boats applied for asylum and were allowed to stay in Nhai Tuan ward (present-day Hoe Nhai and Hang Than areas) and opened markets.

Tran's army fought with Mongolian's army

Thang Long Tran dynasty not only built and created art, but also had to fight the enemy and fight well: within 30 years (1258 - 1288) three times the Mongolian invaded, three times the defended the territory and let the invaders taste bitterness. You should know the Mongolian is the most powerful army that time, but they still lost Vietnam and Thang Long still stood steadily and became  a heroic capital.

3. Under the Mac-Le dynasty (1527-1592)

In 1527 the Mac dynasty (1527 - 1592) came to replace the Le dynasty and moved the citadel to Thang Long again after a hundred years. The policy has been expanded, initially creating a stable social situation, dynamic industrial and commercial activities, Buddhism and Taoism.

A new feature of Thang Long architecture is that beside the royal citadel of King Le, there appeared Trinh Lord, the real headquarters of the central government at that time. It was a rectangular building with two long sides that can be the first sections of Quang Trung and Ba Trieu streets, the two horizontal sides are Trang Thi and Tran Hng Dao streets.

And Thang Long as a citadel still expanded foreign policy to trade with neighboring countries. This time was a flourishing period for Hanoi in particular and Vietnam in general.

A painting of Thang long under Mac-Le dynasty

4. Under Nguyen dynasty

When the Nguyễn dynasty was established in 1802, Gia Long moved the capital to Hue. Thang Long was no longer the capital, its Chinese name’s was changed from Rising dragon to ascent and prosperity. Emperors of Vietnam usually used dragon as a symbol of their imperial strength and power. In 1831, the Nguyễn emperor Minh Mạng renamed it Hà Nội, which means "Between Rivers" or "River Interior".

Hanoi was occupied by the French in 1873 and passed to them ten years later. As Hanoï, it was located in the protectorate of Tonkin (the northern of Vietnam that time) became the capital of French Indochina after 1887.

Hanoi under Nguyen dynasty

5. Hanoi today

After the Đổi Mới economic transformation policies were approved in 1986, the Communist Party and national and municipal governments hoped to attract international investments for urban development projects in Hanoi. The high-rise commercial buildings did not begin to appear until ten years later due to the international investment community being skeptical of the security of their investments in Vietnam. Rapid urban development and rising costs displaced many residential areas in central Hanoi. Following a short period of economic stagnation after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Hanoi resumed its rapid economic growth.

Hanoi has experienced a rapid construction boom recently. Skyscrapers, popping up in new urban areas, have dramatically changed the cityscape and have formed a modern skyline outside the old city. In 2015, Hanoi is ranked 39th by Emporis in the list of world cities with most skyscrapers over 100 m; its two tallest buildings are Hanoi Landmark 72 Tower (336 m, second tallest in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City's Landmark 81 and third tallest in south-east Asia after Malaysia's Petronas Towers) and Hanoi Lotte Center (272 m, also, third tallest in Vietnam). All of them are all Hanoi must-visit places.

Hanoi after Đổi Mới economic policies


We have just provided the most useful information above to help you achieve some short overviews about history of this beautiful city. Hope you have the best Hanoi Vietnam Travel trip!


Written by: Hieu La


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