UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia Saturday added Vietnam’s Thang Long imperial citadel to the world heritage list, according to the Hanoi people’s committee.
The Hanoi citadel becomes the 900th site to make it to the list.
It was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty to mark the independence of Dai Viet, as Vietnam was called then.
It was built on the remains of a Chinese fortress built in the 7th century by draining land reclaimed from the Red River in Hanoi. It was the center of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption.
The citadel and the remains at the 18 Hoang Dieu Street archaeological site reflect a unique culture specific to the lower Red River valley and at the crossroads of influences from China in the north and the ancient kingdom of Champa in the south, according to the committee.
Restoration of the royal citadel began in 2006 when it was officially recognized as a national relic.
The people’s committee said UNESCO’s recognition of the cultural heritage is significant for Vietnam since it is preparing for the capital city’s millennial anniversary.
The UNESCO committee’s 10-day meeting, which wraps up Tuesday, considered 39 nominations -- eight natural, 29 cultural, and two natural-cultural heritage sites – it received from 33 countries.
It has added or extended 17 other sites to the list, bringing the total number to 910.
Vietnam has five other heritage sites – the complex of Hue monuments, Hoi An ancient town, My Son sanctuary, Ha Long Bay, and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.