O Quan Chuong: The only remaining gate of the ancient Thang Long citadel

O Quan Chuong is an old Hanoi gate, located in the East of the citadel surrounding Thang Long Citadel, built in the 10th Canh Hung year (1749) and the third Gia Long year (1817). It has been rebuilt several times and kept the same style to this day. This is one of the 21 remnants of the old Thang Long citadel, a relic that was recognized in 1995.

Today most of the other “O” (Gate) can only keep their names to be what they are today, such as O Cho Dua, which was the name of a market in the southwest of the city. Cau Giay is also known because it is the name of a brick bridge spanning To Lich river... Yet, there is not any architecture that can recall the ancient vestige to the full. Fortunately for us, Hanoi still has an almost intact gate that is O Quan Chuong.

O Quan Chuong is located on O Quan Chuong Street, at the beginning of Hang Chieu Street, whose front looks to the east and the Red River and the back looks to the west and the Hang Chieu Street extends. Into details of its architecture, there is an arch of the town guarding door, on top of that is a floor for guarding enemies. The door was built with a large arch, formerly there were two large thick wooden gates, at night the guards closed the gates of the city and opened it early for people to travel and trade.

 

 

With the passage of time, O Quan Chuong still stands solemnly, trying to preserve Hanoi for thousands of years of civilization with a simple and wild wonder that is extremely valuable. Currently, the doorway has one main door and two side doors. On the roof is a gazebo. Once upon a time there were guards here. On the left wall is an inscription engraved in 1882 with the order of Governor Hoang Dieu prohibiting soldiers from harassing funerals through the doorway. Above the big gate, there are three Chinese characters: “Thanh Ha Mon” which means Thanh Hà gate (because this gate is in Thanh H hamlet, next to the former To Lich river mouth. Chieu, Thanh Ha and Dao Duy Tu). So, the arches once had doors, opening at days, and closing at nights.

But the current appearance of O Quan Chuong is from a major repair in 1817. O Quan Chuong is also known as O Thanh Ha. “Quan Chuong” - The Attorney General is a guard commander. On 11-20-1873, the French colonialists launched the first attack on Hanoi. Each warship, ship landed on the Red River, rushed into Hanoi through the Dong Ha gate. The Attorney General, with over 100 guards, arrayed along the riverbank, where a fierce and unequal battle broke out, our troops bravely fought to the last one ... From there the Dong Ha gate was called. is the "Gate of Attorney General".

 

 

After occupying Hanoi, the French demolished old buildings around the city to expand the new neighborhood. However, Mr. Quan Chuong, thanks to the persistent struggle of the people and the ruler of Dong Xuan and Dao Dang Chieu (1845-1916), that policy was not implemented. Because Mr. Cai, together with the general public, refused to sign the application for permission to break the gate, the French eventually gave in. Thanks to that, up to now, the city has saved a vestige of ancient architecture.

On June 3, 2009, the US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak announced a US $ 74,500 grant for Vietnam to implement the conservation of O Quan Chuong, the only remaining ancient door in Hanoi. This project is funded through the Cultural Preservation Fund of the US Ambassador and is part of the activities to celebrate 1,000 years of Thang Long - Hanoi.

The US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W. Michalak said: “O Quan Chuong is a surprisingly beautiful also crumbling architectural monument. Before an important milestone of Hanoi turning 1,000 years old, we are very honored to be able to repair and preserve this monument. O Quan Chuong is not only a landmark of the ancient Thang Long citadel, it is also a symbol of the spirit and tenacity of the people of Hanoi. I also hope that after the conservation is completed, this project will be a symbol of friendship between the United States and Vietnam. In a city that suffered many losses from US bombing during the war, it is a testimony that we, together with the people and the Government of Vietnam, conserve your national treasure. great for the growing relationship between us."

Unique and symbolic as it is, O Quan Chuong is truly a treasure of Hanoi!


O Quan Chương is one of many destination in our cooking class - culinary journey, which will bring you to a back-time journey to discover the story of origin, the growth of culture and the soul of Vietnam that have left their mark in today’s dishes. 

Check it here: http://langlieurestaurant.com/cooking-class.html