The central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi covers area of 18.395ha, includes archaeological area at 18 Hoang Dieu Street and relics in Ha Noi Citadel such as: Ha Noi Flag Tower, Doan Mon, Kinh Thien Palace, Building D67, Hau Lau, Bac Mon, Forbidden City wall and eight gates from the Nguyen Dynasty. The large central sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site just in time for Hanoi’s millennial anniversary in 2010.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long (Vietnamese: Hoàng thành Thăng Long) is the cultural complex comprising the royal enclosure first built during the Lý Dynasty and subsequently expanded by the Trần, Lê and finally the Nguyễn Dynasty. The ruins roughly coincide with the Hanoi Citadel today.
The royal palaces and most of the structures in Thang Long were in varying states of disrepair by the late 19th century with the upheaval of the French conquest of Hanoi. By the 20th century many of the remaining structures were torn down. Only in the 21st century are the ruin foundations of Thang Long Imperial City systematically excavated.
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
On July 31st, 2010, the World Heritage Committee recognized the Thang Long Royal Citadel as a World Cultural Heritage Site. This site is a source of great pride to the people of Hanoi and Vietnamese people in general. The standing monuments and subterranean vestiges of palaces, together with numerous other unique artifacts unearthed in the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi are invaluable assets not only of Vietnam but also the entire human race.