05/10/2009 | 11:07:45

The Tran Dynasty (1226-1400)

The Ly dynasty collapsed on December 1 in the Year of the Cock, (1-12-1226) after Tran Thu Do got the Queen Ly Chieu Hoang to issue an edict conceding the throne to her husband, Tran Canh. The Tran dynasty opened an era of more dynamic, stable and solid development which lasted until the middle of the 15th century.

Under the Tran Dynasty, Thang Long was the greatest political, economic and cultural centre of the nation. The transfer of power was carried out peacefully causing no great changes to Thang Long.

The Ly's architecture which contained the La Thanh, Hoang Thanh (Royal City) and Cam Thành (Forbidden Purple City) remained as they were before. There were also some new structures added such as Vien Quoc Hoc (Institute of National Learning) and Giang Vo Duong (Giang Vo Military Hall). The Kinh Thanh (Capital City) comprised 61 communes which were trading, handicraft and agricultural communes.

At the end of the Tran dynasty, Thang Long was noted down as being "Ke Cho", which means an international, friendship city characterized by its focus on culture, economy and great people such as the high-ranking mandarin Hoang Binh (from the Tong dynasty), Tham Chinh Tang Uyen Tu, Tong Trieu Trung and the Dinh Bang Duc family, who were a family performing acrobatics. It was in this city that Vietnamese small traders and Hoa kieu (Chinese overseas), Hoi Hot and Cha Va's big traders operated; where the Tong, Nguyen, Lao, Chiem, Gia-va envoys, monks and nuns from Mid-Asia and India were received; where Cheo (Vietnamese folk arts), Tuong (Chinese drama) and Ho's dance were also held.

The development of industry and trading gave birth to a new generation of citizens, urban dwellers and to the urban way of life. It was said that Tran Anh Tong (1293-1314) escorted by his bodyguards used to stealthily leave his palace at night to stroll around and enjoy the city until early morning.

Thang Long under the Tran dynasty was also the land of talented and cultural people: for example Han Thuyen, who built a foundation of Vietnamese culture; Le Van Huu, a famous historian; Tran Thanh Tong and Tran Nhan Tong, the heroic kings and talented poets; Tran Quoc Tuan and Tran Quang Khai, the commanders, poets, and writers of the same time and Chu Van An, a bright example and a model of an honourable and upright intellectual.

Thang Long under the Tran dynasty was a city of creativeness and heroism. During a 30 year period, Thang Long was turned into an empty city three times, being a tomb for invaders, the remains of which are known today as Đong Bo Dau - Doc Hang Than, Giang Khau - Hang Buom. Three times Thang Long underwent trials and three times it proved itself to be a heroic city. The Tran Dynasty ruled for 175 years (with twelve emperors) in what was a "business" (Ke Cho) Thang Long./.

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