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King Ly Thai To Monument unveiled (October 07, 2004)

The inauguration ceremony of the statue of King Ly Thai To.
VietNamNet – The statue of the founder of Hanoi, King Ly Thai To, erected in Chi Linh Garden next to Hoan Kiem Lake, was inaugurated today, October 7.

The statue, built by Construction Company No 3, is another project to celebrate the 50th year of liberation and the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long - Hanoi.

The statue’s design was selected from 29 entries, and a life size cardboard model (9m high, including pedestal) was erected in Chi Linh Garden where the concrete monument be placed. The author of the satue is sculptor Vi Thi Hoa of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association.

Hanoi became the capital of the country in 1010, following King Ly Thai To's Chieu doi do (Decree on the capital's relocation).

"King Ly Thai To's Chieu doi do is a wonderful work, with both historic and artistic aspects." said Prof Phan Huy Le, Director of the Centre for Vietnamese and Intercultural Studies at Hanoi National University.

"Relocating the capital must have been a massive project; the King was a visionary who chose the favourable terrain of Thang Long in 1010 for the new capital. It is central to the highland delta, bordered by rivers and mountains, favourable to traffic, trade and protection."

"By the great decision, the King gave us the gorgeous capital to day." Prof Le said.

The Ly Dynasty numbered nine Kings, founder of the Ly Dynasty Ly Cong Uan (Ly Thai To), Ly Thai Tong, Ly Thanh Tong, Ly Nhan Tong, Ly Than Tong, Ly Anh Tong, Ly Cao Tong, Ly Hue Tong, and Ly Chieu Hoang.

King Ly Thai To was born in 974 and raised by Van Hanh, a Buddhist monk after the king’s mother died at childbirth. He was trained as a leader, a scholar, and a military general as the monk was a wise bonze-superior and could foresee the future.

He became a famous general in the Le Court when he was very young. After the death of emperor Le Long Dinh (Le Ngoa Trieu) in 1010, he assumed the throne.

In 1010, the King moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh Province) to Dai La (presently Hanoi). According to ancient documents, during the move, the king has a vision of a golden dragon ascending from the Hong (Red) River.

The King decided to change the name of the former Dai La to Thang Long (Ascending Dragon). During an eighteen-year reign, King Ly Thai To initiated a number of actions that would significantly affect the development of the new state.

He reorganised the government, with the King on top as a central dictator, and family members assumed important positions in the court. The country was divided into 24 Lo (provinces) comprising Huyen (districts). Huyens were made up of Xa (villages).

The King appointed the rulers for Lo only, the Huyen and Xa were ruled by elected council. All complaints were submitted directly to the King by ringing a huge bell hung in front of royal palace.

With the inauguration of the statue, King Ly Thai To is honored as one of the greatest kings of Vietnam, who was instrumental in helping build and develop the country.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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