Two central localities to restore Hải Vân Gate
sonnguyen 22-12-2021, 08:28


Two central localities to restore Hải Vân Gate

ĐÀ NẴNG — Authorities of the central city and Thừa Thien-Huế Province have jointly begun a restoration and preservation project on the Hải Van Gate at the border of the two localities on the Hải Van Pass.

The project will cover 6,500sq.m, with a total of VNĐ42 billion (US$1.8 million) investment, using State funds from the two localities.

Director of the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre, Hoang Viet Trung said the project would remove the octagonal bunkers that were built in 1945-75 and redecorate the site as it was in the Nguyễn Dynasty, including the damaged stone, brick walls and gates.

He said many new constructions such as high voltage power poles and telephone signal broadcasting stations had been carried out at the relic site in the late 1980s.

Trung said the preservation would focus on restoring ancient unique architecture and the design of old relics including the old citadel, the two gates and centuries-old north-south route on the top of Hải Van Pass between Huế and Đa Nẵng.

In 2017, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism promoted the Hải Van Gate – a complex of brick-built gates dating from the Trần Dynasty – as a National Historical Relic and Architecture site.

The site has been in poor condition for the last two decades.  

An excavation on the Hải Van Gate complex in 2018 unveiled a clear layout of the old foundations of citadel walls and a section of the north-south route dating back to 1470.

Archaeologists also found the base level foundations of two gates built in 1826 – at the north and south – which were either changed of structure or damaged during the American war (1946-1975).

The original boundary of the Hải Van Gate relic was overlapped by rock walls and tunnels built by the French and the US soldiers during the French and the American wars.   

The 500m above sea level relic, which is on the border of Lăng Co Town in Thừa Thien-Huế Province’s Phu Loc District and Đa Nẵng’s Hòa Hiep Bắc Ward in Lien Chiểu District, attracts about 1,000 visitors per day.

It is situated on the Hải Van Pass, 28km away from Đa Nẵng and 80km far from Huế, with access only for tankers or road adventurers travelling between Đa Nẵng and Huế since the Hải Van tunnel became operational in 2005.

Historically, Hải Van Pass belonged to the Hindu Champa Kingdom under Jaya Simhavarman III (1288-1307), but the two provinces of Ô (now Quảng Trị) and Lý (now Thừa Thien-Huế) were given in exchange for the marriage of Huyền Tran Princess, daughter of King Trần Anh Tong. Hải Van Pass then became the border between the Đại Viet and the Champa Kingdoms.

The two brick gates were reinforced with concrete and steel-bar roofs in the fight against Vietnamese guerillas (French colonial period) in 1826, and then during the American War.

In 1470, King Trần Nhan Tong named the Hải Van Gate ‘the most marvellous wonder’. The inscriptions on the gate arches have survived. — VNS