This page has four Hà Nội landmarks. Not a selection that represents the city, for that would have to include some of the modern structures and bridges seen on other pages, but they are buildings redolent with historical connections. Two, one secular and one religious, from Hà Nội's founding years; and two, one secular and one religious, from the French occupation. Hà Nội's history is staunchly attested to by its... The one legged pagoda and pool; carp attend its reflection ...chronologists, they assert that the one legged pagoda began perching in its pool in the year 1051. By then the nearby citadel had already been founded for some 40 years - there were big celebrations here in 2011. On this page the citadel is represented by its flag tower. Jumping forward over nine centuries, two signs of the colonial past. The beautiful ochre buildings which now form the foreign office, and the less handsome Catholic cathedral. In March flowers decorate the balustrades around the pool Substantial steps take the visitor up to the pagoda, which by September... ...no longer has its flowers. Many visitors wish to acknowledge... ...the building's Buddhist past, and can be seen praying and kneeling The pagoda is designed to remind the viewer of a pure lotus flower rising from muddy water. It has offered an easy target for attack over the years, many times having been rebuilt. The last destruction came about when the French finally left Hà Nội in 1954. In 1955 the reconstruction followed the nineteenth century version of the building. The present peaceful building is once more under threat! This time from its allies. Recent studies have shown how different the structure was in previous eras and there is talk of restoration to an earlier form The water lilies of the pool link the visitor to the surrounding park in which the pagoda lies This area sits between the Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum and the museum which celebrates President Hồ's life An interloper to the four landmarks. These bonsais are in the nearby botanic garden,
which lie just to the west of the one legged pagoda
Crossing the centuries, a modern religious building is St Joseph's Cathedral it lies a few hundred metres west of
Hoàn Kiếm Lake.
Many of Hà Nội's much photographed sites...
...suffer these webs of cabling, meaning pictures are taken from difficult or odd angles to avoid what otherwise might be regarded as an emblematic feature of modern Hà Nội
This flag tower sits in the citadel area of the city, a large archaeological site covering some 18 hectares (45 acres) producing vast amounts of finds from its thousand years of occupation, building and destruction. The flag tower...
...was used by the French occupiers (hence its preservation) and dates from 1812, it stands on the outer gate of the Vietnamese version of the 'Forbidden City' just beside Điện Biên Phủ street near which the buildings below are grouped
The two gate houses to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sit at the top of Điện Biên Phủ street adjacent to Ba Đình Square. The building was constructed in the late 1920s and is a fine example of the Indochine style blending Vietnamese and French traditions. (These two huggable octagons get the Brydon nomination for the most endearing buildings in Hà Nội)
The central entrance features this fountain wall,
while this view...
...from the side, shows the facade of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
This area of ministries and embassies is wooded and calm...
...contrasting with the hive of activity that much of Hà Nội presents to the visitor. Above Điện Biên Phủ street reaches the Ministry building...
...and emerges onto Ba Đình Square with the Russian Brutalist Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum, seen to the left of this picture, serving to emphasise the elegance of the colonial architecture
The next Picture Posting
page honours the memory of President
Hồ Chí Minh
with visits to three sites associated with him.
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Damage'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.