The citadel has been recognized because it meets two criteria of the 10 criteria defined by UNESCO on World Cultural Heritages. These are the globally outstanding values of a heritage and satisfy the demands of integrity and authenticity as stipulated in the documentation of the World Heritage Convention in 2008 and the authenticity of Nara Declaration.
The Ho reign citadel is nominated as a World Heritage with three areas: the Citadel, La wall and Nam Giao sacrifice stage, with the width of 155.5 ha and is surrounded by a buffer zone of 5,078.5 ha. The citadel has been recognized because it meets two criteria of the 10 criteria defined by UNESCO on World Cultural Heritages. These are the globally outstanding values of a heritage and satisfy the demands of integrity and authenticity as stipulated in the documentation of the World Heritage Convention in 2008 and the authenticity of Nara Declaration.
* Criterion (ii): The Ho reign citadel represents the important exchanges in values influenced by Chinese Confucianism of a centralized royalty in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century. The citadel presented new developments in the architectural style in terms of engineering and urban planning in the East Asian and South Asian environment, to take full advantage of natural conditions and and to add into its constructions and urban landscapes the elements of Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Of thought: The Ho reign citadel was built in the plain surrounded by ranges of mountains, with the two rivers Ma and Buoi encompass and join in the front. The architecture space and layout of the citadel presented the clear and strong acceptance of Confucian thought, that the king is the Son of God and follows the will of God.
Of course all Eastern monarches had this in mind but in the Ho dynasty this thought was expressed more thoroughly.
* Criterion (iv): This is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble among a natural landscape, the evidence of the practical neo-Confucianism booming in Vietnam in the XIV century, the period in which this ideology had spread throughout East Asia and became a philosophy with the great influence on the rule in the region. The use of large rocks demonstrated the power of a state organized in neo-Confucianism, suggesting the exchange of construction technology in Southeast Asia and the change in the main axial direction brought the difference in design of the Ho reign compared to Chinese standard.
The choice of capital placement demonstrated in-depth understanding of the selected areas and the ingenious use of landscape elements with the principles of the Book of Changes and the East geomancy. Of construction techniques: The large stone construction techniques were the crystallization of intelligence and experience of any civilization, creating a breakthrough in construction technology.
The outstanding features of the citadel are to have the 4 firm majestic walls with the 4 entrances built of stone. Rocks and stones were used a lot and very skilled. The blocks of rock are with an average size of 2.2 m x 1.5 m x 1.2 m, there are individual blocks, with the size up to 4.2 m x 1.7 m x 1.5 m and 5.1 m x 1m x 1.2 m, the largest stone weighs 26.7 tons. This were the incredible achievements of the large stone building technique. The stones processing was worked out for saving as well as reasonably for high technical efficiency. The stones for arches were polished at multiple facets.
The blocks for the walls were mostly polished where the stones joined. The surface in contact with soil and other materials polishing was not required.
Plans to preserve the citadel
As a member of UNESCO, beside the law of Vietnam Cultural Heritage, the estate will be managed and protected under the UNESCO Convention. That will contribute to promoting the conservation of the integrity and globaly outstanding values of the heritage. On the other hand, doing so will be an important contribution to the environment protection, geomancy of the landscape.
The international consultants, particularly Professor Akira Ono (ICOMOS experts in the heritage examination) considered that Ho reign citadel should be built into the model of a "archaeological park", serving the research as well as promoting the heritage values. Some commitments have now been conducted, including the implementation of research how to bring the Royal Path and Tran Khat Chan Temple into the Heritage elements. The work of planning the overall investigation to identify the boundaries of protected zone for the caves and landscapes related to the overall natural landscape of the heritage and continue to inventory, supplement systematically the documentation of relics relating to the estate will be an important job for the management of heritage in the future.
Strategy for Sustainable Development - Green tourism
In the near future, when the detailed master plan of the heritage is approved by the Prime Minister, the investment projects on infrastructure and tourism is speeding up, the World Cultural Heritage will contribute to making tourism a spearhead industry of Thanh Hoa. The building of plans to uphold the heritage values are all adviced and recommended by the UNESCO experts according to the strategy for sustainable development, green travel, such as community tourism development, experience tourism, eco-tourism. Subjects who implement tourism activities are the local people (following the Management Plan) and the people will be an important factor contributing to the heritage management and protection.
Such local villages as Xuan Giai, Tay Giai (Vinh Tien), Dong Mon (Vinh Long) are the first addresses for the experimental model of community tourism (homestay). Thanh Hoa Province People's Committee has directed the Department of Construction to consult and build a project for traditional houses model. Currently, the hotels in the district have focused on improving interior comfort for visitors. The traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, local products have also been in researches for experimental productions. The first pilot areas will be along the Hoang Gia route and the town of Vinh Loc in the Citadel.
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