The U.S. Mission in Vietnam Launches the Ambassador’s Cultural Preservation Project of the Ho Citadel, Thanh Hoa Province
HANOI, October 26, 2018 – In a ceremony at the Ho Citadel today, U.S. Embassy’s Country Public Affairs Officer, Ms. Molly Stephenson, announced a grant of US$ 92,500 to conserve the stone vault and the south gate of the Ho Citadel in Thanh Hoa Province. This grant was provided through the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
Built in 1397 by the Hồ dynasty as the capital of Đại Ngu, Ho Citadel is unique for its outstanding construction technique, which used large blocks of stone, weighing from 10 ton 26 tons each, carefully shaped, interlocked and elevated to about ten meters high. The citadel served as a military stronghold to protect the country from invasion, thus becoming a symbol of patriotism and national pride, and a witness of Vietnamese history during the late 14th and early 15th century. For the past six centuries, however, the forces of nature took its toll on the site. The south gate, especially the left – or western – stone vault, is the most important original structure within the citadel complex, but is also the most seriously damaged.
The project will allow the Conservation Center for Ho Citadel to conserve the stone vault and south gate, counter the effects of climate degradation, and ensure the integrity and beauty of the historic site. Once completed in 2019, the project will help commemorate the 25th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Molly Stephenson said, “Today, through our support to conserve the stone vault and south gate of Ho Citadel, we express our deep respect for Vietnam’s rich legacy and traditions. Cultural heritage offers a bridge between the past and the future, but also enriches our present day experience. We are honored to stand by your side today to help preserve this historic structure for the benefit of future generations.”
Established in 2001 to help less developed countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures, the Ambassador’s Fund has supported hundreds of projects in 120 countries worldwide. Vietnam has been awarded 14 projects since 2001, totaling US$1,133,800, each contributing to the preservation of different aspect of Vietnam’s diverse heritage.