Imperial Citadel of Thang Long Complex

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a special cultural and historical relic complex. The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO inscribed it on the World Heritage List in 2010.


When Vietnam's capital was moved from Hoa Lu to Hanoi in the 11th century, the Ly Viet Dynasty built the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a cultural complex that includes the royal enclosing area, which was erected in the Ly Dynasty and afterwards developed in the Tran, Le, and, lastly, Nguyen Dynasties.

It is now situated next to Ba Dinh Square, directly across from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and close to a number of major political structures, including the Vietnamese Presidential Palace.


The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is divided into three sections:

1. Hanoi Flag Tower is on Dien Bien Phu Street within the Army Museum area, near the Lenin Statue and Park, with Highland Cafe adjacent to the foot of the tower.

2. Citadel and Palaces are on Hoang Dieu Street, relics such as Kinh Thien Palace from the Le So Dynasty, with stone steps and balconies carved with dragons, built in 1467; Doan Mon Gate, the forbidden city of Thang Long's southern gate; and relics of Hanoi Citadel from the Nguyen Dynasty with Cua Bac (Northern Gate), Hau Lau (Southern Gate), and Back Tower).

3. In late 2003, three layers of the Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site on Hoang Dieu Street, near the Citadel and Palaces, were exposed. Buildings from the pre-Thang Long period (7th–9th century AD) or the Dai La Citadel were discovered in the deepest layer. The Ly and Tran dynasties (11th–14th centuries AD) left architectural marks on the next layer. Remnanats from the Le dynasty 9 (15th–18th centuries AD) were discovered on the top stratum.


Unlike other Hanoi museums, you can take photos here. However, all activities must be done quietly so as not to disturb other visitors or treasures.

Except for Mondays, you can visit any day of the week. You should also set aside half a day to see all of the palaces at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long to learn more about Vietnam's history through the dynasties.

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