2km road linking the citadel's southern gate with the Nam Giao worship
platform has been described as the "most beautiful old stone road ever
built in the country".
excavated a total area of 1,500sq.m in front of the southern gate
revealing blue stones as big as 1sq.m buried up to 1m below the surface.
road is thought to have been used by the king and the royal family when
travelling between the citadel and nearby Nam Giao worship platform to
pray to heaven for peace and prosperity at the peak of Don Son Mountain.
have found the road mainly intact and discovered various antiques
including metal spears, stone cannon balls and ceramic objects from the
early period of the late Le dynasty (1428-1527) as well as architectural
ornamentation from the periods.
and director of the Ho Citadel Preservation Management Centre Do Quang
Trong said the good state of the road is thanks to the time and energy
the original builders put into construction.
"So far, this is the most beautiful old stone road found in the country," he said.
road has been listed in the heritage file of the citadel to submit to
UNESCO by the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a
professional association that works to conserve and protect sites of
cultural heritage around the world. The association hoped the road would
be listed among the oldest stone paths of royal citadels in Southeast Asia.
Archaeologists also hoped to unearth remnants of a bridge at the southern gate that is mentioned in various historical sources.
Excavation will continue at both sides of the southern gate, three other gates and within the palace complex.
citadel, mentioned in Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu (The Complete Annals of
the Great Viet), was built during the reign of King Tran Nhuan Tong
(1397) by Royal Mandarin Ho Quy Ly, who acceded to the throne in 1400.
It was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site last June.
stone gates face north, east, south and west and were found to be
intact. The southern entrance, which consists of three curved gates,
acted as the main entry point, and its design was a departure from the
traditional Chinese-influenced design found in similar citadels.