Duong Lam ancient village - national cultural heritage

Duong Lam ancient village was the first village in the rural area of Vietnam recognised as a national cultural heritage.

The village has retained the basic characteristics of Vietnamese ancient villages with banyan tree, well and communal house's court. The unique architecture has turned the village into one of attractive tourist addresses alluring tourists.

After the recognition of Hoi An ancient town, Hanoi old quarter, Duong Lam village in Son Tay Town (some 60km to the west of Hanoi Capital) is the first ancient village recognised as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Gate to Duong Lam village – Mong Phu gate

Gate to Duong Lam village – Mong Phu gate

About

Two of Vietnam’s kings, Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944) were born in Duong Lam, giving the village its prestige. Both men led resistance wars against northern invasion and after winning national independence, were crowned kings. After their deaths, the local people built temples in their honour.

The ancient village has a history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. Laterite is used on house walls, gates, wells, temple walls, and so forth. The mud is taken from ponds. Apart from its historical and tourism values, Duong Lam ancient village is an important place for scientists to study resident communities in ancient agriculture. The village gate, banyan, well, communal house are important factors in classifying Duong Lam ancient village.

Destinations

1.The common wells

One of the common wells in Duong Lam Village

One of the common wells in Duong Lam Village

The common wells was built in every hamlet in Duong Lam village. Each well brings the name of the hamlet it is located. At present, each family possesses its own well but the common well has been protected because it maintains many imprints of the villagers.

2.The Communal house

The communal house is a worshipping place of the god – founder of the village. The ancient village consists of 5 villages so it has 5 communal houses. The communal house was made carefully with sophisticated decoration details. It is considered as a flower of unique sculptural architecture.

Small alley to the Catholic Church in Duong Lam ancient village

Small alley to the Catholic Church in Duong Lam ancient village

  • Doai Giap and Cam Lam communal houses dedicate to Phung Hung – the national hero who won the victory against invaders under Duong Dynasty;
  • Cam Thinh communal house dedicates both the founder of the village and great mandarin Cao Phuc Dien – the hero under Le Dynasty.
  • Dong Sang communal house worships the God but it was destroyed by fire and was restored by financial support from people.
  • The god Tan Vien Son was dedicated in Mong Phu communal house. So far, Mong Phu communal house is a gathering place of the villagers for cultural activities.

3.The ancient houses

Duong Lam Ancient Village today still retains many ancient houses characterized by the folk houses at Red River Delta.

Duong Lam’s old house

Duong Lam’s old house

Accordingly, Mong Phu Village owns about 100 ancient houses. The number of these kinds of houses in Cam Thinh Village, Doai Giap Village and Phu Khang Village is respectively 17, 8 and 13. They are typical ancient houses having still remained largely intact ancient architectural style. It is a kind of house built with materials of wood, laterite with its interior and exterior also retaining its original design. The houses dating back over 200 years account for about 5%, the rest mostly dates back less than 100 years. Most old houses here have maintained gate, fencing, courtyard, garden, main house, outbuilding, kitchen, ranch... which are very familiar with the ancient village in Thang Long - Hanoi but could hardly find elsewhere today.

Architecture of the house

The wooden house mainly has 5 or 7 spans with 2 wings. It has 5 rows of columns, sometime 1 row disappears. The house has specialized by sophisticatedly carved details in the form of flowers, leaves, clouds.

Duong Lam’s old house

A system of wooden doors is very firm. Each span has 4 leaves of the door with upper and lower joints. Thresholds were made of firm wood above 40-50cm from the ground and 10cm from the floor. This distance helps to ventilate well, avoid humidity for the thresholds. The whole system of the thresholds is the tie system linking all spans together.

4.Chua Mia

As one of the 10 oldest temples in Vietnam, Mia pagoda has the most beautiful ancient statues in Vietnam.

Mia Pagoda (Suga cane Pagoda)

Mia Pagoda (Suga cane Pagoda) is also initially called Sung Nghiem Tu. Several years later, Lady Nguyen Thi Dong, also called Lady Mia, had the pagoda rebuilt and renamed.

The pagoda was built during the Tran Dynasty (1225-1406) and still preserves many ancient artifacts.

The pagoda has 287 statues of all sizes, among which are famous sculptures such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities. The largest one is the sculpture of Bat Bo Kim Cang located in the upper sanctuary.

The pagoda preserves many ancient artifacts such as the great red bell made in 1743, the bronze gong (1846), and the Lady Mia stone tables, set up in 1632.

5.Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung Temple

The temple dedicated to King Ngo Quyen was most recently renovated during the reign of King Tu Duc from 1848 to 1883. King Ngo Quyen is famous for the battle on Bach Dang River against China’s Southern Han troops. The historic battle ended 1,000 years of Chinese feudal rule and established the Ngo Dynasty, giving the Vietnamese people a new spirit of self-reliance and independence.

Ngo Quyen tomb in Duong Lam village

Ngo Quyen tomb in Duong Lam village

The temple worshipping King Phung Hung was built in Cam Lam commune where he recruited troops and rose up in arms in 791 to combat the domination of China’s Tang.

6.Giang Van Minh worship-house

Giang Van Minh worship-house is located in Mong Phu hamlet, near Mong Phu Temple. It was built in the period of King Tu Duc to worship Tham hoa Giang Van Minh (1573 – 1637). Regarding to the worship-house, it still remains forms of an ancient house, with the five-compartment fore-house connected to the after-house by a small court and the total area is 400 square meter. The worship-house was built in the shape of Nh letter.

7.18 Duoi trees

Heritage trees – almost 1200 year-old-tree in Duong Lam village

Heritage trees – almost 1200 year-old-tree in Duong Lam village

Legend has it that 18 Ruoi trees are extremely important to Duong Lam people. The Duong Lam people also believe that it represents for the prosperity and thriving for Duong Lam villagers. The oldest tree is around 1200 years old. These trees are recognized as national heritage trees.

8.Mong Phu Temple and Mong Phu’s Gate

Mong Phu temple was built in 1553.

Mong Phu Temple

Mong Phu Temple

Mong Phu’s gate is a typical gate of a village in northern Vietnam. Behind it is a 300-year-old banyan tree, next to a lotus pond and rice fields. Originally, it was made of wood to prevent wild beasts from entering. Later, they became part of the general defense against any intruders. An important part of a gate is the top, which is often built in the form of an arch. The arch is usually covered, so travelers can hide from the tropical sun and rains. On each sides of the arch, there are tall pillars, with reliefs of parallel sentences, designed to introduce the village’s good traditions.

9.Other sights

Duong Lam has many beautiful scenes linked with legendary stories such as Guom Hill, Ho Gam Hill. There are also other attraction such as On pagoda, some places near by like Son Tay citadel, Tay Phuong pagoda, Van Phuc silk village

Feature food

The traditional crafts that are still remained till today are che lam (blue sweetened porridge cake, peanut candy and che kho (fried sweetened porridge cake). Different producers have different receipts but the ingredients stay the same. The main ingredients are honey bee, fried rice powder, fried peanut, fresh ginger… This kind of street food is only in Duong Lam ancient village, it is in everywhere in Vietnam but there is only in Duong Lam that this street food is the most delicious.

Mong Phu’s soy jars

Mong Phu’s soy jars

Roasted pork with bamboo stick (Thit quay don)

Roasted pork with bamboo stick (Thit quay don)

A meal in Duong Lam is also very simple with boiled chicken, boil water spinach eaten with bean sauce, stewed meat, crab soup and eggplant…

Let’s come to Duong Lam village to trace back to the origin of Vietnamese culture and Vietnamese traditions, to explore architecture of ancient houses while wandering along its narrow alleyways, and to escape from the bustle of city life.

Any information please meet us at BNS.

From Internet