Explore the ancient citadel of Lam Kinh, the little-known ancient capital in Thanh Hoa

Talking about ancient cities, people will immediately think of Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Hoa Lu ancient capital, but few people know that the ancient Dai Viet country also had another citadel named Lam Kinh relic site located in the land of Thanh Hoa.

History of formation of Lam Kinh relic site 

Lam Kinh relic is an ancient historical relic located in Xuan Lam commune, Lam Son town, in the area of ​​two districts of Tho Xuan and Ngoc Lac of Thanh Hoa province, and about 50km from Thanh Hoa city to the west. Northwest.

It is known that Lam Kinh is the birthplace of the national hero Le Loi, the ancestral homeland of the Le dynasty, and also the place where the Lam Son uprising was launched, the 15th-century feat made people admire for to this day. Therefore, King Le Thai To chose this place to build a second citadel called Tay Kinh (to distinguish it from the main capital Dong Kinh – Thang Long Hanoi).'Through the air' to the glorious Late Le Dynasty at the Lam Kinh Thanh Hoa relic siteAncient and peaceful relic (Photo @trangmy262)

Accordingly, the construction process of Lam Kinh Palace was recorded by the “Dai Viet history book” as follows:

In 1430, Le Loi, after ascending the throne, proclaimed himself King Le Thai To, with the era name Thuan Thien, and changed the name of Lam Son land to Lam Kinh.

In 1433, when King Le Thai To died, he was brought to Lam Kinh for burial, and a large-scale system of temples and mausoleums also began to be built to worship ancestors and serve as a resting place for kings. Thai Hoang, Thai Queen, is the place where the ceremony is held when the king pays his respects to the mausoleum.

In 1448, King Le Nhan Tong issued a decree to Thai lieutenant Le Kha and the Department of Public Works to restore the degraded temples and by February 1449, the construction work was completed.

In 1456, on the occasion of the ceremony at Lam Kinh Palace, Thanh Hoa, King Le Nhan Tong named 3 buildings of the main hall: Quang Duc, Sung Hieu and Dien Khanh.

In 1962, this place was recognized as a National Historic Site.

Experiencing the ravages of time, weather and the fierceness of war, this building has been damaged and degraded quite a lot, so in 2002 the Prime Minister issued a planning decision to coincide with the planning. remodeled to have a complete architecture as it is today.Lam Kinh relic site - famous pilgrimage site in Thanh HoaA famous travel destination to the present and past (Photo FB Hoang Nam Truong)

By 2013, the Lam Kinh relic site was recognized as a special national relic, affirming the important historical value of the country, and at the same time considered as the “golden cradle” of the Late Le period that descendants the afterlife must always be preserved.

The superficial and majestic architecture of Lam Kinh relic site

Lam Kinh Citadel leans against Dau mountain, facing Chu river – Chua mountain, on the left, is Phu Lam forest and on the right is embraced by Huong mountain and Ham Rong mountain, creating a unique position of the human spirit. fascinate people.

Although it has been restored, this place still bears the vestiges of a regal era with the overall construction located on a land of up to 30 hectares in the shape of the letter “Vuong” (王) with a length of 314m and a width of 314m. 254m. The bow-shaped wall has a radius of 164m and a thickness of 1m embracing many unique architectures such as:

Ngoc River – Bach Bridge

The path to Lam Kinh’s historical site is located along the peaceful Ngoc River originating from Tay Ho, on both sides of the river are two rows of lush green trees reflecting in the clear water. The river bottom has a lot of beautiful colorful round pebbles and across the river is the white curved white stone bridge that has been tinged with moss, looks like a poetic ancient scene that we often see on the riverbank. .Ngoc River - beautiful scenery at Lam Kinh relic site A poetic river like a historical movie (Photo FB Tuyet Tuyet)

Ancient well

Crossing the bridge about 50m, you will admire a huge ancient well dating from the time of the ancestors of Le Loi, formerly there was a lotus, but now the water surface is as clear as a mirror reflecting everything. . The interesting thing about the well is that the water inside does not flow all year round, the north bank is paved with stone steps up and down, so to this day it is still an important source of water for the Lam Kinh citadel.

Ngo Mon (Critique)

Ngo Mon or Nghi Mon of Lam Kinh relic is the southern gate with quite monumental architecture with 3 compartments, of which the middle is 4.6m wide, the two side compartments are 3.5m wide, and 3 doors with the middle door. 3.6m wide, two side doors 2.74m wide with a towering column with a 78cm line in the middle to serve as a pillar. 

In front of the Ngo Mon Gate, there are two fierce stone clams dating back hundreds of years old standing guard as if to protect the peace of the inner temple. In the past, this was the place to receive the ritual before entering the shrine, but now it is the only gate to welcome you to visit the interior.Ngo Mon - the welcome gate of Lam Kinh relic site Impressive relic right from the entrance (Photo FB Nguyen Huong)

Dragon Court

Stepping through the Ngo Mon Gate is the Dragon Court – the area that occupies the largest area in the Lam Kinh national relic site with more than 3,500 m2 and has 3 paths to the main hall, this is also a special place to serve sacrifices on occasions. large during the year.Dragon yard - large space at Lam Kinh relic site The most spacious and airy space in the relic area (Photo FB Quynh MinShu)

Magnificent main hall

The main hall was built in the shape of the letter “public” (I) with 3 large buildings made entirely of wood, with rows of giant pillars with a diameter of up to 62cm, making the building always stable and firm. despite the harshness of the weather and the ravages of time. This is also a work of special value in terms of architectural art of the Le So period.Main hall - outstanding work at Lam Kinh relic site The main hall has been tinged with time (Photo FB Ha Ly)

Thai temple

Going to the back of the main hall, we will see 9 Thai temples of Lam Kinh decorated dignifiedly, each building is designed in a square with an area of ​​approximately 180 m2 – 220 m2 folded into a bow shape. take the main hall, the roof is covered with comedy nose tiles, exuding an ancient and quiet scene. This is a place to worship the kings and queens of the Later Le dynasty, so it is always full of incense and has a sacred and respectful atmosphere.Thai Mieu - place of worship at Lam Kinh relic siteA quiet scene like ancient times (Photo @yucherry_makeup)

Tomb system

Lam Kinh relic is the resting place of kings and queens, so it is indispensable to have a system of famous tombs of King Le Thai To, King Le Thanh Tong, King Le Hien Tong, King Le Tuc Tong and King Le Tuc Tong. Empress Dowager Ngo Thi Ngoc Dao, with each area about 400 m2 including the mausoleum and the courtyard. 

In particular, the most prominent is Vinh Lang – the mausoleum of King Le Thai To was built in the southwest of the citadel with a beautiful terrain with his back leaning against Dau mountain, facing towards Chua mountain, two high mountains on both sides. surrounded to form the posture of “tiger and dragon adoration”, simple but majestic.

In front of the mausoleum, there are two stone statues of mandarins and four pairs of animal statues (ne – horse – rhinoceros – tiger) as if to keep the peace in the mausoleum. 300m from the mausoleum, a stone stele made of monolithic sediment placed on the back of a stone turtle is 2.97m high, 1.94m wide and 0.27m thick. On the stele, there is content compiled by the famous Nguyen Trai, recording the life and career of the king, with sophisticated decorative art, both of artistic value and a valuable historical document for researchers. study history today.Vinh Lang - an impressive work at Lam Kinh relic site Tomb of King Le was built very majestically (Photo @gioitran96)

Precious historical relics

In addition to impressive architectural works, the ancient citadel of Lam Kinh also has many precious historical relics and antiques such as: 4 national treasures: Vinh Lang Beer – Lam Son Vinh Lang Bi, Empress Ngo’s stele Thi Ngoc Dao – Khon Nguyen Chi Duc Chi Lang, the stele of King Le Thanh Tong – Dai Viet Lam Son Chieu Lang Bi and stele of King Le Hien Tong – Dai Viet Lam Son Du Lang Bi.

Along with 18 rare heritage trees hundreds of years old in the campus such as: a special banyan tree that does not spread out as far as other ancient trees, but embraces the city’s roots and turns into a tree about 20m high, dozens of people hug. can’t. And the Thi tree living in the banyan tree is still green all year round and the fruit is fragrant in a corner of the sky, forming the famous Da – Thi love story in a region.Da Thi tree - precious heritage at Lam Kinh relic site Goc Da – Thi is famous near and far (Photo @trinhminhang)

Or the 600-year-old “sponsor” iron tree, which is green, suddenly loses all its leaves and when the construction project to restore the main hall of the Lam Kinh relic site is completed, the tree also dies. So people considered it as a sacred tree corner, devoting themselves to rebuilding the main hall.

Besides, there is a guava tree that knows how to “smile” more than 3m high next to King Le Thai To’s mausoleum, just lightly touching the branches of the tree (also known as the armpit part of the tree) will make the foliage vibrate as if laugh – an interesting, mysterious phenomenon that no one can explain.

Festival at Lam Kinh relic site

If on normal days, how quiet and peaceful the Lam Kinh relic is , when it comes to Lam Kinh festival held on the 21st (Le Lai’s death anniversary) and 22nd (Le Loi’s death anniversary) of the 8th lunar month every year, The atmosphere here is so vibrant and bustling, people eagerly come together to see the festival and remember the merits of the ancestors.

The ceremony will take place in the magnanimous atmosphere of the drums and gongs resounding in the sky with the majestic procession of the palanquins of King Le Thai To and Le Lai in accordance with traditional rituals. As for the festival, the festival was lively with musical performances re-enacting memorable historical events such as the Lung Nhai oath festival, the moment Le Lai saved, the time of the liberation of Dong Quan citadel or the moment of King Le Thai To. ascending the throne … with interesting folk games such as dragon dance, spring genealogy, drum festival, throwing con, pon pon dance, crossbow shooting and Binh Ngo game…festival - ideal arrival day at Lam Kinh relic site Exciting festival at the relic (FB photo of Lam Kinh relic site)

In particular, when traveling to Lam Kinh at this time, visitors can also enjoy many famous specialties here such as: sweet and spicy sweet and spicy Lam Phu Quang tea, chewy Tu Tru Gai cake or fried Dam Set perch. golden, greasy… sure to be delicious and forget the way home.specialties - interesting points of Lam Kinh relic site Lam Kinh famous dish in Lam Kinh (Photo FB Le Tien)

Traveling to Thanh Hoa, don’t let the waves and clouds at the beaches hold you back for too long, because a trip to the Le Dynasty at Lam Kinh relic site will definitely make your trip more memorable and wonderful.

Photo: Internet