HOA LU TEMPLES
The temples are located in Truong Yen Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh province. It is approximately 100km south of Hanoi. They were built in modest sizes and dedicated to the two kings of merit who were significant figures in the establishment of Vietnamese independence and political unity in the 10th century.
More than a thousand years ago, Hoa Lu was chosen for the capital of ancient Vietnam, founded by King Dinh Tien Hoang. The capital lasted 41 years, till 1009. Before it was transferred to Thang Long (Today Hanoi), Hoa Lu was a thriving heart of the kingdom, decorated with many spectacular palaces. Many of the palaces stood out because of their silver rooves. The limestone mountains that surround the capital location intertwine beautifully with Hoang Long River and the nearby rice fields and farmland. The area also functioned as the perfect line of defense for the revolutionaries, with its deep trenches. Hoa Lu measures 300 hectares in width which includes the inside and outside areas. Together with peaceful villages, the towering limestone outcrops create a magnificent landscape. Time, rains, wars, and sunshine for more than a century led to the slow deterioration of Hoa Lu ancient relics and architecture. But the temples constructed by the Le and Dinh Dynasties in the 17th century remain intact.
Today, coming to Hoa Lu, visitors are able to visit the two temples where the locals occasionally get around to pay homage to their revered kings and the dynasties
King Dinh Temple was constructed as a small image of the ancient palaces with outer gate, inner gate, flower garden, and lotus lake. There is also a magnificent monolithic stone called Long Sang near the temple. There is a statue of Dinh Tien Hoang and his son inside the temple. Many visitors come to worship the statue because of the work done by Dinh to establish Vietnam as a country. There are several carved images in stone and wood which depict images of dragons, clouds, flowers, and fairies. The carvings follow an intricate pattern.
Le Temple is approximately 500m from Dinh Temple. Le Temple is small in size but has four sections which are Bai Duong (where worship of Pham Cu Luong, a famous general, took place), Le Dai Hanh, Le Ngoa Trieu, and Duong Van Nga. Le Temple has retained its old vestiges of ancient design and intricate decoration. Upon visiting, visitors will discover the history behind the ancient ceramics and palaces in the region. Most of the ancient relics are kept on the left room inside the temple. A visit to Hoa Lu will take visitors on a historical, scenic, and cultural experience that they will never forget.