As beautiful as a bouquet in the heart of the city, HoanKiem Lake is surrounded by the streets of Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To and Hang Khay. Three streets lengthen about 1.800m. The surface lake is a large mirror reflecting the shadow of ancient trees, the rows of willow trees, the roofs of ancient temples and pagodas, old mossy towers, and skyscrapers reaching to the sky.
Previously, the lake named Luc Thuylake because of the green water in four seasons. In the XV century, the Luc Thuy was renamed HoanKiem lake (paying sword), known as Sword Lake. The name of HoanKiem linked to the story of the sword return of the golden turtle to King Le Thai To.
Turtle is one of four mascots (dragon, unicorn, turtle and phoenix) in the folklore mind. The type of the rare turtle still lives in the lake, annually, floats a couple of times. It is happy for tourists who see the turtle floating on the lake’s surface. There are two floated islands. The bigger island is Ngoc island in the northern lake, near the eastern coast, with the red The Huc bridge connecting the island. Ruaisland is smaller in the southern lake with the ancient tower, between four shimmering water sides. HoanKiemlake is the meeting point of visitors in four seasons:
-The spring is charming with traditional festivals and brilliant with peach blossom.
-The summer rushes out the bouts of windswept, fanning away the sultriness of street tingling the noise of cicada.
-The autumn comes with magical fog and vague willow.
-The winter brings the carpet of yellow leaves and the drizzling rain with the cold air.
Ngoc Son Temple:
It was built on the island of Ngoc island. In HoanKiemlake, the island, But tower, The Huc Bridge, DacNguyet floor, Tran Ba temple and the main temple gather together into the art, architecture and historical site and typical landscape of the capital.
Formerly, Ngoc Son island was called as TuongNhi (elephant ear). King Ly Thai Tomoved the capital to Thang Long and named the island as Ngoc Tuong. In the Tran dynasty, it is renames as Ngoc Son island. Legend said that fairies often came here to dance in the mound of rock lake. The Le Kings and the Trinh Lords built KhanhThuy palace in Ngoc Son in for the entertainment. At the end of the Le dynasty, Ngoc Son pagoda was built to worship Buddha. By the Nguyen dynasty, the pagoda was renamed the Van Xuong – De Quan temple, then used to worship La Dong Tan, Quan De, Amitabha Buddha and especially Tran Hung Dao General. This represents the idea of three religions of Vietnamese.
In the eighteenth TuDuc dynasty (1865), Nguyen Van Sieu scholars reconstructed the temple. The new Temple was fixed up more soil and embankment around, built Tran Ba temple and a bridge from the eastern bank called The Hucbridge.
On the old Doc Ton mountain, he built a stone tower with the brush-shape top. The tower’s body was engraved with three words Ta ThanhThien (written on the blue sky), which is now known as Thap But. Next, there was a rolled door called Dai Nghien with a stone peach-half ink tray and three frogs wearing the tray. The tray was engraved an instruction about the usage of the tray in terms of philosophy. The later generations praised that: “NhấtđàiPhươngĐìnhbút”
From outside, there are two walls on two sides. The one side is dragon table, and the other one is tiger table, representing two noble tables listing the name of the imperial officials, encouraging candidates to learn.
The meaning of The Hucbridge is to retain the beautiful sunshine. The Hucbridge leads to Ngoc Son temple’s gate, also known as DacNguyet Lau under the shadow of the tree, in the middle of a luxuriant plant like rising from the water.
The main temple consists of two houses connected together. The first one on the north worships Tran Hung Dao and Van Xuong. Statue is located in the harem on the pedestal with the height of one meter, and the two sides have two stone stairs. Van Xuong statue stands and holds a pen. In the southern, there is Tran Ba temple (the temple striking waves - implying that the pillars stand between unhealthy waves of contemporary culture). The temple is square in the shape with eight roofs, two-story roof supported by eight columns (four outside stone columns and four inside wooden columns).
Although, the temple is a new architecture one, Ngoc Son temple is typical for space and architectural artifacts. The combination of the temple and the lake has created an overall architecture of nature - human, creating the ancient, harmonious and balanced beauty of the temple and lake, as a result, evoking the feeling of harmony between man and nature.
The temple and lake have become the remnants evoking the memories of a nations history, awakening legitimate pride, patriotism, as well as spirituality, consciousness of everyone with the survival of the nation.
Tower stands on the sidewalk of HoanKiemlake and is opposite the Hanoi post office center of Foreign Affairs through Dinh Tien Hoang street.
This is a remaining vestige of BaoAn Pagoda, also known as QuanThuong temple, a famous Buddhist architectural complex. In the middle of the nineteenth century, this place and the whole post office center had a large temple. The octagonal campus included dozen roofs, Buddhist pagoda, Mau pagoda, Kinh printing house, houses for monks, in the altogether over a hundred rooms. Inside, decoration is magnificent while outside there is lotus pond.
In front of the temple, there is HoaPhong tower. It was built in 1846 based on the initiative of Nguyen Dang Giai Master (the head office in Hanoi).
In 1898, along with the expansion momentum of building new streets, temples were destroyed but HoaPhong tower. This is a rare type of tower in Hanoi because it is the four-door type, the deformation of the Stupa (a type of Indian Buddhist tower). In the second floor, four faces has bagua. Bagua initially is directional tool, according to the Chinese universe. HoaPhong tower is synthetic conceptions of the Buddhist universe.