600 years old Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

It is a complex of monuments with a large area. Lam Kinh Thanh Hoa relic site not only has unique architectural works of the Later Le dynasty. Over nearly 600 years old, this place also preserves spiritual stories and mysterious legends about the feudal dynasty that is considered the most flourishing in Vietnamese history. Let's Easygo discover Lam Kinh's special national relic site.

Where is the Lam Kinh relic?

Lam Kinh's historical site is 50 km west of Thanh Hoa city, Located in Xuan Lam commune, Lam Son town, Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province.

Lam Kinh is the birthplace of national hero Le Loi. It is also the place where the famous Lam Son cemetery was discovered in the 15th century. after 10 years of long-term resistance ( 1418 - 1428 ) to drive the Ming invaders out of the country. Le Loi ascended the throne of Thang Long - Hanoi. He took the title Thuan Thien, named the country Dai Viet, also known as Tay Kinh to distinguish it from Dong Kinh - Hanoi. It ushered in a flourishing period that lasted nearly 360 years.

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

To pay homage to ancestors, Lam Kinh was built with many mausoleums, temples, etc., and is considered the second capital of Dai Viet. Later, Lam Kinh became the burial ground of Le Loi King, the kings, and the empress dowager.

Experiencing many historical ups and downs for nearly 600 years. Lam Kinh's special national relic site is not much left, most of it has been destroyed. It was later restored and embellished, gradually recreating its former appearance.

So now, it's not just a tourist attraction in Thanh Hoa. Lam Kinh relic is also a historical relic with many meanings of great sacred cultural value. Not only for the people of Thanh Hoa but also for the whole Vietnamese people.

How to go to the Lam Kinh relic?

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

From Thanh Hoa city, you go along Highway 47, then turn right onto National Highway 15, then turn right Provincial Road 506, and Cross Muc Son Bridge will come to Lam Kinh Relic.

The road is paved and has road signs, so it is very convenient and easy for both motorbikes and cars.

Simply, you can follow the directions of Google Maps.

Sacred legends

Not only attracts tourists by the unique ancient architecture but the Lam Kinh relic is also attracted by mysterious sacred legends.

Prime location

The ancients believed that: Places with good feng shui positions are the places where you can build a strong career.

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

In the imperial calendar, the charter of Phan Huy Chu describes the Lam Kinh architectural work that:

“Lam Kinh Palace is behind the mountain, facing the river in front, surrounded by green mountains and lush forests. Vinh Lang of Le Thai To, Thieu Lang of Le Thai Tong, and the mausoleums of the Le king are all here. Every mausoleum has a headstone…. Outside Nghi Mon gate, there are two stone mastiffs, traditionally very sacred. The palace is made up of three contiguous persons, with the font Cong, modeled after the style of temples in Scribes. Going up step by step, then looking down from there, you can see the mountains and valleys on both sides of the Left, Right, this and that around, it's a place to build an inheritance.”

Perhaps because of its prime location and special architecture, the Later Le dynasty flourished like that.

Six-clawed turtle feet with Vinh Lang Stele

The image of turtles with steles is not uncommon in spiritual works in Vietnam. But the image of turtles with the Vinh Lang stele in Lam Kinh is very special.

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

Vinh Lang stele was erected 300m from Vinh Lang mausoleum, made of monolithic sedimentary rock 2.97m high, 1.94m wide, 0.27m thick. The stele is placed on the back of a large turtle with a length of 3.46m, a width of 1.9m, a height of 0.94m including the base.

Turtles only have 5 claws. However, the tortoise that backs Vinh Lang Lam Kinh Stele has 6 claws. More specifically, the 6th nail is missing the horn, leaving an indentation in the flesh.

Based on the legend of An Duong Vuong's magic crossbow and the legend of Hoan Kiem Lake. Some researchers believe that 6 toenails represent 6 years of the reign of King Le Thai To.

But Professor Ha Minh Duc said that it is an image that represents the philosophy "if you have a loan, you will pay it back". Bao Quoc cannot occupy its citadel. This lesson of trust needs to be followed if you don't want to end up losing your home. Just because An Duong Vuong kept the magic crossbow as his treasure, in the end, the treasure fell into the enemy's hands, leading to great consequences: the country was lost, the house was dissolved. As for King Le Loi, after defeating the Ming invaders, he ascended the throne. Le Loi returned the precious sword to the Golden Turtle. Thanks to that, the Le dynasty ruled for 354 years, the longest in the history of Vietnamese feudal dynasties.

The artist who carved the Vinh Lang stele reminded the people of later generations to remember the lesson of credibility with An Duong Vuong when he had a loan but did not pay it back.

Guava tree can laugh

In the Vinh Lang area, there is also a legend about the smiling guava tree, creating the mystery of the Lam Kinh relic.

Reported by the caretaker here. The Guava tree is about 60 years old. Visitors who come here just need to gently tickle the tree trunk with their fingers. Even though there was no wind, all the leaves were shaking as if they were laughing. Not only knowing how to smile when tickled but guava trees are also believed by people that when they hold hands on the branches, quietly close their eyes and pray, they will pray for a son to inherit.

She said that although the Management Board tried but failed to propagate this guava tree

Ironwood tree sacrifices itself

The story of an ancient ironwood tree with a lifespan of about 600 years is told in 2010, when the project to restore Lam Kinh Main Palace was approved, the ironwood tree, which was green and healthy, suddenly shed all its leaves and gradually died.

At this time, many spiritualists, as well as scientists, tried to find out the cause and save the tree's life, but to no avail. What is more strange, with such old trees, often the trunk is hollow or rotten. But this iron tree, when cut down, is still solid and has a beautiful pattern.

It is estimated that the trunk and branches are of sufficient size to make a set of the main column, military column, corner column, and roof beam to serve the ceremony of carpentry to start construction of the palace in October of the same year. In particular, the diameter of the root of the iron tree coincides with the foot of the main pillar (approximately 0.8m), the top is about 0.65cm, and fits the foot of the pillar.

The strange coincidence of this size is rumored. It seems that this ironwood tree was born and dedicated to the mission of restoring the palace for posterity. Since then, the story of "The ironwood tree sacrifices itself" is still handed down to this day.

The unique architecture of Lam Kinh Historic Site

With a total area of 141ha, after being renovated, protected, restored, restored, and embellished the ancient architectures and forests in the relic area, the Lam Kinh relic area consists of 50 main work items.

Bach Bridge, Ngoc Lam Kinh River

After parking and buying tickets outside. You will have to walk a bit to reach Bach Cau, Ngoc River. Along the two sides of the road, there are many information boards about the mandarins and people with meritorious services.

The stream of Ngoc River originates from Tay Ho, goes around in front of the citadel and Lam Kinh palace. According to the book Hoang Viet geolocation: The river water is clear, the river bed has small, round and smooth stones that look very pleasing to the eye but no one dares to steal.

On the Ngoc River is Bach Bridge, also known as Doat Kieu Bridge. The reason it is named Dat Kieu is because of the curved bow shape. Any palanquin coming here must stop at the foot of the bridge and walk inside. The bridge is located on the main road leading to the center of Lam Kinh's main hall.

Lam Kinh ancient well - The largest ancient well in Vietnam

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

Crossing Ngoc bridge about 50m will come to an ancient well. It dates back to the time when Le Loi's ancestor was Le Hoi. When he left the village from Nhu Ang to Lam Kinh, he established a farming and production hamlet. The well serves daily life for the family and the servants in the house.

After becoming the second capital, the well is still used to serve Lam Kinh's daily life. The well water is clear all year round and does not dry up. The North bank is paved with stone steps up and down, providing water for Lam Kinh's power.

Currently, Lam Kinh Ancient Well is one of the largest ancient wells in Vietnam.

Ngo Mon Lam Kinh

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

Before entering the Main Hall, you will have to go through the Ngo Mon Gate.

Ngo Mon is also known as Nghinh Mon. This is the southern gate, the place to welcome when entering the courtyard. This is the architectural foundation of the remaining Le Trung Hung period. It was restored in 2009 and inaugurated on the occasion of the Lam Kinh festival in 2010.

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

In front of Ngo Mon, 2 stone statues are guarding the gate, carved in a block on a standing pedestal, erected 5.10m apart with original back and soleplate, dating back hundreds of years. The head and front legs have been reconstructed. 

Inside Ngo Mon, there are 2 sun and moon rings made of the round stone with a diameter of 0.70m.

The Ngo Mon platform is 10.60m wide, 15m long, with 3 doors. The door in the middle of the place for the King to go is 2.97m wide. The right door is for the Van mandarin, the left door is for the Vo mandarin. Both doors are 1.86m wide. The middle door is always closed and visitors can only go by 2 side doors.

Da Thi tree, Lam Kinh relic site

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

Previously, there was a Gold Apple tree growing on that land. In the Gold Apple tree season, the birds come to eat the fruit, accidentally bringing the banyan seeds. Then the Banyan tree grew to embrace the Thi tree. 2 trees live together, in the season of gold apples, there is a fruit of gold apple, in the season of Banyan, there is a fruit of banyan.

But due to the lower life expectancy, in 2007 the Gold apple tree died, leaving only the banyan tree. Currently, the banyan tree is still alive with the dried gold apple tree inside its trunk.

Lam Kinh Dragon Stadium

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

Pass the Ngo gate to the Dragon yard. In the past, the Dragon Court was the place to serve the worship of martial arts officials when the king set up the court and held sacrifices. Today, Dragon Court is the place to organize annual festivals.

Lam Kinh Main Palace

Lam Kinh relic in the heart of Thanh Hoa

It is the main hall in the center of the largest center in the shape of the letter (I). Consisting of 3 large buildings called Quang Duc, Sung Hieu, and Dien Khanh. The area is 1648m2 with 138 footstones; there are 124 footstones left.

This is a large-scale wooden structure. Entirely made of Lim wood. The interior is completely made of gold and there is a set of solid gold tables and chairs worth up to 27 billion of the king.

The front hall is Quang Duc, the center is Sung Hieu, the rear is called Dien Khanh. The two halls of Quang Duc and Dien Khanh have 9 compartments, the middle one is the widest, the two gables are only 2 m wide, forming a corridor surrounding all 3 halls.

Currently, due to conservation, the main hall is not open to visitors.

Lam Kinh Imperial Temple

Behind the main hall is the Lam Kinh Thai Temple, consisting of 9 buildings of nearly square size, with relatively equal area, from 180m2 - 220m2, arranged in the shape of a bow embracing the Lam Kinh Main Palace.

Imperial Temple is the place to worship the Grand emperors and Grand empress dowagers of the Later Le dynasty. Up to now, only 5 buildings have been renovated, all according to the architecture of the Le Trung Hung period. With ironwood, the roof is made of a tiled nose, the floor is tiled with antique bricks, the wall is made of silk, and the door is a table.

Lam Kinh Tomb

In addition to the tombs of other kings and queens, the most special is still Vinh Lang, also known as the Tomb of King Le Thai To, where there is a 60-year-old laughing guava tree.

50m from Lam Kinh palace, the mausoleum was built on a flat strip of land. In front there is a spacious and spacious hall, the front is Chua mountain. Behind the pillow is Mount Dau. On the left and right sides are two mountain ranges creating the posture of "tiger bowing to the dragon".

The mausoleum is in the shape of a cube, surrounded by stones, about 4.4 x 1m in size. Although simple, it is very respectful and always has someone on duty.

In front of the mausoleum, there are two rows of statues of mandarins, one side mandarin, one side mandarin martial. Along with 4 pairs of stone seed statues to guard in the order of Nghe, Te Giac, Horse, and Tiger. In the middle is a pair of stone elephants dating back hundreds of years, still keeping almost the original.

Expenses when traveling to Lam Kinh relic

To visit, you have to buy an entrance ticket to Lam Kinh relic with the price of 30,000 VND / turn.

All vehicles are sent outside to walk inside for 15,000 VND for cars, 5000 – 10,000 VND / for motorbikes and bicycles.

Tips when visiting Lam Kinh Special National Monument

Because it is a sacred place, you should not wear short clothes. If there is a mistake, the Management Board already has cranks available at the ticket counter for everyone.

With hot summer weather, you should prepare a hat, umbrella, sunscreen, fan, and water when visiting.

The area where the monument is quite large, if you do not want your feet to swell, you should wear sports shoes or flat shoes.

If you want to celebrate incense, you should prepare incense and food. If you do not have time, you can buy it at the shops in the relic area.