Picture: activeasia

The name of the pagoda comes from a legend: a long ago, an old woman known as Thien Mu (literally “Heavenly Lady”) appeared on the hill where the pagoda stands today. She told local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country’s prosperity. Lord Nguyen Hoang, on hearing that, ordered the construction of the pagoda of the “Heavenly Lady”.

Picture: youtube

The pagoda sits on the Ha Khe hill, in the ward of Huong Long in Hue. It is around 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the Citadel of Hue constructed in 1601 by the Nguyen Dynasty and sits on the northern bank of the Perfume River.

Picture: skyscrapercity

Over the centuries its buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Since the 1960s it has been a flashpoint of political demonstrations. In 1710, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu had a great bell cast (2.5m high, 3.285kg) and in 1715, he had a stele (2.58 m high) erected on the back of a marble tortoise.

Picture: explorersxxx

To the right of the tower is a pavilion containing a stele dating from 1715. It’s set on the back of a massive marble turtle, a symbol of longevity. To the left of the tower is another six-sided pavilion, this one sheltering an enormous bell (1710), weighing 2052kg and audible from 10km away.