Binh Dinh


Hoang De Citadel

Photo of Entry:  Hoang De Citadel

The Hoang De (Emperor) Citadel in Binh Dinh Province is a must-see for Vietnamese history lovers.

The former forbidden city, which changed hands several times during the late 18th century, is located in An Nhon District, on the site of the prior Do Ban Citadel in the Champa Kingdom.

It was rebuilt in 1776 by the order of the ruler of Tay Son Dynasty, King Nguyen Nhac, one of the three national heroes who led a resistance against Ching invaders from China.


According to Dia chi Binh Dinh (The Book about Binh Dinh), the Hoang De Citadel has an outer circumference of 7,400 meters.


It originally had five gates but only one remains open for tourists.


Most of the citadel has been ruined.


A brick tomb is badly damaged but still is used for worshipping.


In front of the citadel is Thap Thap Pagoda where Hon da chem (Beheading Stone) is preserved.


When the Nguyen troops seized the citadel in 1799 from the Tay Son, they beheaded the captured generals on this rectangular stone.


Half a kilometer away there are two stone elephants on either side of the road.


According to legend the two elephants had their tusks broken in a battle and lay there to die.


The original red earthen walls still remain outside the former forbidden city on a rocky hill.


When the Nguyen troops took over Hoang De Citadel in 1799 they renamed it Binh Dinh Citadel.


A civil war followed, with many battles between the Tay Son and Nguyen troops.


The tombs of Vo Tanh and Ngo Tung Chau, two generals from the Nguyen dynasty are in the heart of the citadel.


They committed suicide and had their bodies burnt when Tay Son troops retook the citadel two years later in 1801.


Today, the Hoang De Citadel is situated in a residential area.


People may visit it for free. The security guard also acts as a tour guide.

Source Thanh Nien News

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