Experts describe value of palace in Thái Bình

THÁI BÌNH — A recent international workshop held in the northern province of Thái Bình once again confirmed the value of Lỗ Giang Palace built during the Trần Dynasty (1225-1400).

Experts from domestic institutes and seven foreign scientists from Japan, South Korea and China gathered on November 30 to review recent excavations and propose preservation plans for the site.

Ceramic objects from the Trần Dynasty found at the site. — Photo daidoanket.vn

Lỗ Giang Palace is a system of royal buildings outside Thăng Long Citadel that were used to provide accommodation for the king.

Many palaces were built under the Trần reign but not many still exist.

According to researchers, rare materials had been found at Lỗ Giang Palace that were unlike finds at other Trần palaces including Thiên Trường (Nam Định Province) and Vũ Lâm (Ninh Bình Province).

Scientists from the Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies conducted excavations in 2014, 2015 and 2017 at Hồng Minh Commune in Hưng Hà District and discovered various building materials and daily utensils, and the foundations of stone pillars at Thái Temple.

Decorative pattern of a dragon and cloud found at the site. — Photo giaoduc.net

“This is an important discovery as this is the first time we have found wooden architecture from the Trần Dynasty built on rectangular pillar foundations,” said Prof Bùi Minh Trí, rector of the institute. “The remains of the pillars here are very big. It means the pillars must have been huge to hold up a very large building with many floors.”

Trí said the same form of pillars had been found at Thăng Long Citadel which were built under the Lý Dynasty (1009-1225), but they were much smaller.

Trí said the palace at today’s Trần Temple (Thái Lăng) might have used by kings Trần Nhân Tông (1278-1293) and Trần Anh Tông (1293-1314), and was also home to Kiến Xương Palace built under King Trần Hiến Tông’s (1329-1341) reign, according to records.

Experts confirmed that Lỗ Giang Palace covered a total area of 554sq.m.

They found various decoration details with dragon figures; pieces of tiles featuring the face of a lion and carving of a Chinese character with the word “King”.

The building must have been an important place, Trí said.

“Lỗ Giang Palace seems to have been a big and important palace during the Trần Dynasty in the ancient Long Hưng Region,” Trí said. “It shows that the area was not only the place where Trần kings started their reigns because it was also used for important national events.”

The excavation site is now protected by a roof. — Photo daidoanket.vn

Nguyễn Thị Lĩnh, deputy chairperson of Thái Bình Province’s People’s Committee, said the authorities had assigned Hưng Hà District to co-ordinate with the institute to construct a roof to protect Thái Temple and other remnants unearthed at Lăng Sa.

Authorities will compile a dossier to ask the culture ministry for a national level historic relic title for the site and call for investment to preserve the palace.

Lỗ Giang Palace and Kiến Xương Palace are both mentioned in Đại Việt Sử Ký Toàn Thư (The Complete Annals of Đại Việt): “In 1293, the king’s mother passed away in Lỗ Giang Palace, Long Hưng, her body was kept temporarily in Long Hưng Palace; …in 1341, King Trần Hiến Tông passed away, his body was kept temporarily at Kiến Xương Palace.”

Lĩnh said thanks to the discoveries, the province planned to develop the value of the palace and connect overall culture heritage in neighbouring areas for the purpose of socio-economic development of Hưng Hà District and Thái Bình Province. — VNS

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