The oldest tomb from Nguyen Lords’ time - Queen Doan Thi Ngoc royal tomb and the only remaining work from Tay Son Dynasty - Hoang De (Emperor) Citadel have been severely ruined in the central region.
Relic turns into cattle farm
The royal tomb of Queen Doan Thi Ngoc in Quang Nam Province is in need of restoration and repair (Photo: SGGP)
The royal tomb of Queen Doan Thi Ngoc is located in Chiem Son Village, Duy Trinh Commune, Duy Xuyen District, and Quang Nam Province. Doan Thi Ngoc was praised for her contribution in the development of mulberry growing, silkworm breeding and silk weaving, in the area in 17th century.
Tam Tang Village had made several types of famous silk, which is both sold locally and around the world. In March every year, local authorities organize the Tam Tang female-lord festival, in commemoration of her.
There is a concrete wall built to protect the tomb, but the Iron Gate in front of the tomb has collapsed. As a result, local residents are now using the relic site as cattle ground.
Head of Chiem Son Village Nguyen Van Thanh said, “the tomb is located far from any residential areas, and as a result, management have neglected the site, letting it to become a cattle farm”.
In 1975, authorized officials regarded the relic as a ‘vestige of the feudal regime’. This led to local residents taking resources from the site and using them as housing materials.
In addition, thieves have used explosives in the attempt to find hidden treasure on the site. Gold was once thought to be buried in the tomb.
Other than a concrete wall and the installation of a sign, the relic site has yet to be restored. Quang Nam Province now has over 49 national relics, with four of them being used for illegal purposes. Of the 256 provincial relics, 21 are still in need of restoration, 32 have been severely ruined and 89 relic sites have completely disappeared.
Forgot Emperor Citadel
Hoang De (Emperor) Citadel from Tay Son Dynasty has fallen into decay in Binh Dinh Province. King Thai Duc or Nguyen Nhac, who was eldest brother of Quang Trung Emperor, in Nhon Hau Commune, built the Citadel in the An Nhon District in 1776.
After Nguyen Anh assigned the throne in 1802, he destroyed relics relating to Tay Son Dynasty. The Hoang De Citadel relic has been considered as the only architectural work from Tay Son period that still exists in Vietnam.
Since 2004-2007, Binh Dinh Museum, have worked with the Vietnam Institute of Archeology to excavate the site and discovered several objects that have historical value.
After many years, it has fallen in decay and has been exposed to the weathering elements. At present, the citadel’s is over growed with grass and in severe decay.
Tran Duc Tong, who looks after the relic, said, ”the site has been recognized as a national historical and cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, but it has been neglected for a long time”.