Uniquely Vietnamese

Posted: March 31, 2012 at 8:17 am

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Do Temple marks a turning point in Vietnams history

The gate of Do Temple in the northern province of Bac Ninh. Photo: Nguyen Van My

The Do Temple in Bac Ninh Province is a uniquely Vietnamese temple.

Situated around 20 kilometers from Hanoi, it is the best known and most visited temple in the country by far, which is not really surprising, as even a cursory study of its history shows.

The temple preserves most the traditions of Vietnam and also keeps almost everything people need to know about the Ly Dynasty (1009 1225), the first Vietnamese ruling family able to hold onto power for more than several decades, allowing them to secure and expand the territory.

Do means the capital city. It has as its deities eight kings of the Ly dynasty. The temples other names are Thai Mieu, Co Phap Dien and Ly Bat De.

It is still not explained why or how the ninth and last ruler of the dynasty, Ly Chieu Hoang, the only female one, has been left out.

Ly Chieu Hoang was enthroned when she was just eight and handed over the reins to her husband Tran Canh after two years, effectively ending the Ly Dynasty.

It has also been said that feudalism valued men more than women and that they were not to be worshiped equally.

The temple was built in 1010 by Ly Thai To, the founder of the dynasty, and restored by his son Ly Thai Tong in 1030.

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Uniquely Vietnamese

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Written by simmons |

March 31st, 2012 at 8:17 am

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