Referring to Hanoi and Sword Lake, it is indispensable to mention Turtle Tower – the symbol of thousand years of civilization of the capital.
This small architectural work, but hidden in it is its historical significance, traces lasting with the time that no place can replace.
Where is the Turtle Tower (Thap Rua)?
Turtle Tower is a small tower located on a small mound of about 350m2 wide; in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. With such a prime location, it is very convenient for you to move from different points in Hanoi to the tower.
Visitors often check in with Turtle Tower when standing on the bank of the Lake; the photos from afar have clear images of the tower silhouetted under the lake surface.
During the Le Thanh Tong period, a fishing station was built on this Turtle mound for the king to fish. In the 17-18 centuries, the Trinh Lord built the Ta Vong communal house; but by the Nguyen dynasty, there was no trace left.
In 1883, after the French lowered Hanoi, the people around here were evacuated, leaving only Nguyen Ngoc Kim – the official translator of Tu Phap village; appointed as an intermediary between France and Vietnam; he is also known as Ba Ho Kim. In 1886, he saw the beautiful mound and feng shui; so he decided to build a tower to later bury his father there.
The Turtle Tower was fulfilled by his original wishes without fail. Initially, the tower was named Ba Ho Kim tower, which later changed to now. With a beautiful location, located in the heart of the capital, any visitor to Hanoi will see the tower that makes this tower even small but also extremely popular.
The architecture of the Turtle Tower (Thap Rua)
Turtle Tower architecture is the intersection between the European architectural style; combined with the curved roof according to Vietnamese architectural rules. The first floor of the tower is built on a 0.8m-high, rectangular foundation; one side is 6.28m long, face width 4.54m;
Each side of the tower has arched doors; the length has 3 doors, the width has 2 doors, and a total of 10 doors outside. The first-floor tower is also divided into three compartments and has 4 doors connecting to each other. So a total of the first floor has 14 doors.
The second floor of the tower is built like the first floor; only one thing is built back a little, smaller with a length of 4.8m and a width of 3.64m. The smaller third floor is 2.97m long and 1.9m wide and only opens a circular door on the east side, 0.6m in diameter. The top floor is designed like a gazebo with 2m of surface each, not a rectangle like the lower floors.
During the French colonial period, atop the Turtle Tower, there was a version of the Statue of Liberty (1890-1896). In the 1950s this statue was demolished.
Can be said, although the Tower was only built in the second half of the nineteenth century; However, thanks to its beautiful location in the middle of Sword Lake, plus the French architecture combined with the local architecture has created a unique and unique beauty of Turtle Tower.
Therefore, the Tower of Turtle has become a close symbol of Hanoi’s capital.