Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Inspiring • Authentic • Tailor-Made

Pettitts Travel UK 01892 515966

A Guide to Hanoi's Historic Citadel

Author: David Pettitt

Covering a vast area to the north of the historic French quarter, a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake and the notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton’ lies the citadel of Hanoi. Interested in Vietnam’s past? Then this is the place for you. Recently opened to the public, Hanoi’s citadel – formally known as the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – is already one of the capital’s more interesting sites. The history of the citadel goes back centuries, was built during the Ly dynasty during the 11th century and retained its importance through to the arrival of the French during the early 1800s.

View of the Citadel of Hanoi in Vietnam

Much of the complex was damaged during fighting with French troops – cannonball damage is still visible along the northern edge of the site – yet much remains including the original imperial gates, 15th century stone dragons that guarded the now demolished Kinh Thien Palace and the iconic Cot Co Flag Tower where the ensign of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam flutters daily in the wind.

Tiered Tran Quoc Pagoda on an island in West Lake, Hanoi

Yet, for many, the opening of the citadel has afforded the curious a rare opportunity to glimpse inside one of the main command centres used by the North during the Vietnam War. Enigmatically known as ‘D67’, this reinforced concrete structure protected the NVA’s renowned general Vo Nguyen Giap as he planned his ultimately successful campaign against the US and South Vietnam. Described as Vietnam’s ‘Pentagon’, rooms in D67 have been preserved as have numerous bunkers, the offices of General Giap and an emergency escape tunnel!

Keep In Touch With Pettitts Travel

Sign up for our weekly travel ideas by email, keeping you up to date and inspiring you with ideas, information and suggestions for your next holiday.

Sign Up

Follow Us

Contact Us

Contact Us

01892 515 966

Speak to one of our Travel Consultants (* fields are required)

I would like to receive news and special offers