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Da Nang’s 200-year-old Dien Hai citadel in pictures

The authorities of Da Nang have decided to spend VND84 billion (US$3.6 million) for the conservation of the ancient citadel of Dien Hai.

The fund will be used to restore the original gates in the west and east, the flag platform and 11 cannons, among other items.

An underground exhibition room will be built covering 453sq.m, displaying exhibits and artefacts related to the old citadel.

The Dien Hai citadel, which was first constructed as a military outpost in the 12th year of King Gia Long’s reign (1813), was first restored in 2018 – one year after it was recognized as a National Special Relic.

An excavation has unearthed a section of the foundations and walls of a trench southwest of the ruined Dien Hai Citadel in the city’s downtown district following a restoration project that began last month.

Director of Da Nang Museum Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien said the first excavation in 2018 exposed a 126m wall on the west of the citadel, which was built using brick and mortar.

Meanwhile, a section of foundations was also found next to the citadel wall on the west side. This foundation was built from laterite and pebble.

According to the national heritage council, the ruins of the citadel may be the last monument in Da Nang that symbolizes the sacrifice of local people and soldiers in the fight against French-Spanish colonial forces in 1858-60.

The statue of Nguyen Tri Phuong (1800-73), a famous general who commanded the Vietnamese army to fight the French-Spanish colonial forces (1858-60), will be restored.

The citadel, which was used as the site of the city’s museum on Tran Phu Street, was first built as a military outpost, near the mouth of the Han River, to control access to Da Nang Port and serve as an important defensive position.

Da Nang will dismantle and move the modern museum to another site so the citadel can be fully restored.

A collection of 11 iron cannons cast during the Nguyen Dynasty between 1802 and 1860 and unearthed at the Dien Hai Citadel between 1979 and 2008, are planned for recognition as a national treasure, according to the department.

The restoration of Dien Hai Citadel phase 2 will be carried out on a total area of ​​​​26,519 m2.
The East Gate will be restored, while the Da Nang Museum will be relocated to No. 42 Bach Dang Street.
In phase 2, a total of 16 cannons will be gathered, including 14 cannons at the Da Nang Museum and two from the local General Science Library.
The UH-1 helicopter, an artifact from the Spring 1975 General Offensive and Uprising at the Da Nang Airport, will be removed from the campus of Dien Hai Citadel.
Bonsai trees will also be removed to another location.
The system of ancient walls will be repaired.
Previously, in phase 1 (2017 - 2019), Da Nang spent more than VND110 billion (about $5 million) to relocate 80 houses and 3 State agencies out of the relic site, restore the entire system of high walls and deep moats, and build parks to the north and west of Dien Hai Citadel.
Dien Hai Citadel was built in 1813 in the form of a square with four convex curved corners.
The main gate of the citadel is located on the east side overlooking the Han River and the side gate is on the south side. The citadel has facilities for storing food, ammunition, and gunpowder, and has 30 large cannons.
This was the first stronghold under the Nguyen Dynasty, where the war against the invasion of the French-Spanish army took place (1858). In December 2017, Dien Hai Citadel was ranked as a special national relic.

Ho Giap

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