One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi - review by Rusty Compass
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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi

| 16 Nov 2011
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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square Hanoi, nearby the Ho Chi Minh Museum
6AM to 11.30 - 2PM to 6PM

16 Nov 2011

One of Hanoi’s most revered sights, the One Pillar Pagoda dates back to Hanoi’s founding and is a commonly used symbol of the city. It’s located in a serene garden space near the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Ba Dinh Square.

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The oldest landmark of the Ba Dinh Square area is the One Pillar Pagoda. The site dates back to the city's founding 1000 years ago. Emperor Ly Thai Tong, Hanoi’s founder, built the lotus inspired structure on a single pillar in 1049 to express his gratitude to Quan Am, the Goddess of Mercy following the birth of his son.

Photo: Mark BowyerOne Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi
In an act of wanton vandalism that might help explain the current ravaging of French era architecture in Saigon and Hanoi, vanquished French forces destroyed the pagoda in 1954 as they departed their former colony. The current structure, resting on a concrete pillar, was built by Hanoi's incoming communist government.

The One Pillar Pagoda is in a beautiful green setting and is a nice change of pace from the historical weight of the other nearby Ba Dinh square sites - the Ho Chi Minh Museum, Mausoleum and the house on stilts.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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