HOA LU ANCIENT CAPITAL
Hoa Lu was the first capital of the centralized feudal state in Vietnam. The capital existed for 42 years (from 968 to 1010), being tied with three consecutive reigns such as the Dinh, Le and Ly dynasty with historical markers: country reuniform, fighting against foreign invaders and originally rising up in Hanoi. In 1010, King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Thang Long (Hanoi) while the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital became an ancient capital. Although the reign of King Ly, Tran, Le and Nguyen set up the capital in Thang Long and Hue, many other architectural works such as temple, imperial tomb, commune house, palace, etc. The Hoa Lu ancient capital had many historical ancient relics. Hoa Lu ancient capital now has the natural area of 13.87 km2 under Ninh Binh province. After 1000 years, Hoa Lu still exists with some unique relics in Vietnam. When the whole countries had been excited for welcoming the 1000 year of Thang Long, Hanoi, the Hoa Lu land which used to be antique and quiet started to be more crowded, contributing to the beauty of the country.
3 DYNASTY – 6 KINGS IN HOA LU
Dinh Tien Hoang was the founder of Dinh dynasty and Dai Co Viet in Vietnam history. He was well reserved for hitting the 12 warlords, reuniforming the country and becoming the first king in Vietnam after 1000 years domination by northern invaders. Dinh Tien Hoang was the emperor to lay the foundation for the first centralized feudal state in Vietnam. He was also considered the one to open the formal background for the feudal dynasties in the history.
Dinh De Toan was born in Giap Tuat 974. Dinh Bo Linh had three sons Dinh Lien, Dinh Toan and Dinh Hang Lang. As Dinh Bo Linh appointed Hang Lang to be the Prince, his first son Dinh Lien was too furious to kill Hang Lang. In 979, Dinh Bo Linh and Dinh Lien were all killed and Dinh Toan ascended the throne when he was only 6 years old. In 980, the Chinese Song dynasty heard of the death of King Dinh Tien Hoang and sent the troops to invade Dai Co Viet. Queen mother Duong Van Nga agreed with the court to elevate Le Hoan for the status of King and established the Le dynasty. With the two major battles in Bach Dang and Chi Lang, Le Hoan defeated the Song invaders. Dinh Toan became a mandarin in the court and laid down in war at the age of 27. .
Le Dai Hanh was the king reigned from 980 to 1005. In the history of Vietnam, Le Hoan was not only the emperor who had a major contribution in the fight against the Northern Song dynasty and the Southern Chiem invader, preserving and strengthening the national independence but also made great contributions in the diplomatic career, building and constructing the country Dai Co Viet. Le Hoan also the prerequisite conditions so that Ly Cong Uan was capable of moving the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long in 1010, the current capital of Vietnam. Around this emperor, there are still many things to be clarified such as identity career and posthumous name.
Le Trung Tong has his courtesy name as Le Long Viet who was born in Quy Mui 983 in Hoa Lu. He was the son of King Le Dai Hanh and Queen Dieu Nu. King Le Dai Hanh had more than 10 princes. After his eldest son Prince Long Thau passed away, Long Viet was elevated to the status of Crown Prince. In 1005, after Le Dai Hanh’s death, the princes had been fighting for the crown in 8 months when the country was without owner. The main dispute occurred between Crown Prince Long Viet and Second Prince Long Ngan who was the eldest prince among the remaining brothers. In October 1005, Long Ngan was killed by the natives when fleeing to Thach Ha mountain district (Ha Tinh). Long Viet became the king, i.e. King Le Trung Tong when the country had still been chaotic. According to the chronicle, Trung Tong was killed 3 days later at the age of 22 by an assassin of his uterine brother Le Long Dinh.
Le Long Dinh was the last king of the former Le dynasty, reigning for 4 years from 1005 to 1009. His death at the age of 24 led to the termination of the former Le dynasty and the power then fell into the hands of the Ly dynasty. In the history, this king was almost referred to as a lustful, brutal and cruel one. Recently, there has been the idea that King Le Long Dinh was a defamatory King who was “crucified” in history
Ly Cong Uan was a native of Bac Ninh. His mother was Pham Thi. When he was 3 years old, his mother took him to Buddhist Priest Ly Khanh Van in Co Phap pagoda to be his adopted son whose name was Ly Cong Uan. He became a monk from then. When growing up, with the protection of Buddhist Priest Ly Van Hanh, he entered Hoa Lu capital to be a mandarin in the former Le dynasty, then promoted to the position of “Ta than ve Dien Tien commander”. He was a man with benevolent tolerance, a Buddhist follower who had the essence of emperor. In 1009, he was 35 when King Le Long Dinh was killed. Dao Cam Moc forces and Buddhist Priest Ly Van Hanh then elevated him to be the King. One year later, realizing that Hoa Lu was so tight, Ly Cong Uan decided to move the capital to Dai La. Giving the ascending dragon, he decided to change the name from Dai La to Thang Long (flying dragon) and Hoa Lu to Trang an (eternal peace).
HOA LU RELICS
The special protected area with an area of 300 hectares includes:
The entire area of Hoa Lu citadel consisting of temples of King Dinh and King Le, tombs of King Dinh and King Le, temple of Princess Phat Kim, Nhat Tru pagoda, Cau Den stele, Ngan pagoda, Bim cave, city walls and palace underground, Ma Yen mountain, Phi Van mountain, Cot Co mountain, Sao Khe river and Trang An cave area .
The buffer zone covers an area of 1087 hectares including:
An Tiem cavern, Quan cave, Muoi cave, Luon cave, Lien Hoa cavern, Ban Long pagoda, Bai Dinh pagoda, Vuc Tong temple, the entire landscape along Sao Khe river banks, residential areas from Yen Ha and Vang Ngoc villages and other directly related relics which have been ranked.
BESIDES HOA LU ANCIENT CAPITAL RELICS, A THOUSAND YEAR CULTURAL TOURISM SPOT, NINH BINH ALSO HAS:
TRANG AN ECO-TOURISM COMPLEX
BAI DINH PAGODA CULTURAL SPIRITUAL MOUNTAIN ZONE
VAN LONG NATURAL CONSERVATION AREA
TAM COC – BICH DONG SCENIC AREA
PHAT DIEM STONE CHURCH COMPLEX
CUC PHUONG NATIONAL PARK
VAN TRINH CAVE – KENH GA MINERAL SPRING
DONG CHUONG LAKE – DONG THAI LAKE – TAM DIEP DEFENCE LINE