Hanoi centered around HoÃ n Kiem Lake, has a history dated back to 3000
years. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is located along Red River. It is
considered to be the treasure of political and social evolution of
Vietnam. With a population of more than 3 million, Hanoi will haunt you
back to its past through the remnants of history preserved along the
silent alleys of the Old Quarter. If you trace History of Hanoi, you
will realize that Hanoi on one hand, offers scenic beauty and shadows
of French-colonial rule in the city's architecture, on the other, it is
a city adapting it self to the mall and bar culture of cosmopolitan
For many centuries B.C, the Hanoi area was made by the Hung Kings the capital. At present, vestiges of the Co Loa citadel are found. This is the ancient capital's fortification of King An Duong Vuong, built in the third century B.C. In the 10th century, Vietnam gained independence after over 1000 years under the rule of the northern aggressors. In 1010, King Le Thai To moved the then capital from the inaccessible Hoa Lu area to the Dai La Citadel (present day Hanoi) as the latter was more convenient for production and trade. The King named the new capital "Thang Long", meaning "the soaring dragon" which, according to legend, was seen flying up from the citadel by the King and considered by himself as a good omen of prosperity. Nowadays, one may see in Hanoi architectural projects built in that time such as One-Pillar pagoda, Tran Vu temple, ancient university of Quoc Tu Giam-Van Mieu.
By the end of the 14th century, the Le dynasty weakened. Ho Quy Ly usurped the throne and moved the capital to Thanh Hoa, called "Tay Do" (the capital in the West). The old capital Thang Long was called the Dong Do citadel (the citadel in the East).
At the beginning of the 15th century, the national hero Le Loi defeated foreign aggressors and gave Thang Long Back the capital status with the new name of "Dong Kinh". Later, Western traders coming to Vietnam pronounced Dong Kinh as Tonkin or Tonquin which meant the whole North of Vietnam.
The remembrance of Le Loi's victory is connected with Hoan Kiem lake (Restored Sword) located in the centre of Hanoi. Legend has it that after the victory, Le Loi traveled by boat on the lake. A golden tortoise emerged from water surface and claimed back sword believed to have been given by God to Le Loi to resist the enemy.
At the beginning of the 16th century under the Mac Dynasty Dong Kinh regained the Thang Long name.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Nguyen Dynasty moved the capital to Hue. Thang Long remained the capital of the Northern provinces.
In 1831, the Minh Mang King of the Nguyen Dynasty established Hanoi Province including Thang Long and some surrounding districts. The word Hanoi means "the land between rivers".
At the end of the 19 century Hanoi was occupied by the French and it became a colonial city for over half a century.
In August, 1945, Vietnam regained independence. On September 2, 1945 a mass meeting was held at Ba Dinh square. President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence promulgating the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ha Noi was made the capital of independent Vietnam.
In 1946, Hanoi was once again occupied by the French. At the end of 1954, the French army was defeated and withdrew from Vietnam but the country was divided into two parts. Hanoi was the capital of the North. Many industrial zones, factories, schools, enterprises, hospitals and theatres were built, making Hanoi a political, economic and cultural centre of the North.
In 1965, Hanoi was seriously damaged by American bombardments.
On April 30, 1975 Vietnam was fully liberated. In 1976 the newly elected National Assembly recognized Hanoi as the capital of the independent and reunited country of Vietnam. Since then, Hanoi has quickly developed into a political, economic and cultural centre of the whole country.