Ancient city of Hoi An

Hoi An is an ancient city Faifo is located on the Thu Bon River about thirty miles south of Danang. It is certainly one of the most pleasant town in Vietnam, at the crossroads of foreign influences.

Formerly located on the maritime Silk Roads, Hoi An reached its expansion from the fifteenth century, when large traders are settled counters. At its peak, Hoi An, contemporary Macau and Melaka, was a must for the Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese merchants, and other Japanese birth. From there, the boats left to trade with all the cities of Vietnam or Thailand and Indonesia. These wealthy merchants also construirent elegant wooden houses. Over the decades, all the architectural styles mingled to give a unique touch to Hoi An city now a World Heritage Site by Unesco. 844 buildings have been listed for their historical and architectural interest.

Some roofs are covered with thousands of convex and concave tiles style "yin-yang", this symbol can be found on the doors of houses and thus protects its inhabitants. One of the most interesting monument is the Japanese covered bridge, built in 1593 to connect the Chinese and Japanese communities. Each end is guarded by a couple of dogs and monkeys. Port, since it is silted, gave way to Danang in the late nineteenth century. It is no longer frequented by sampans ..

The "legendary night of Hoi An" takes place on the 14th day of each lunar month (month of the full moon). On the occasion of this very picturesque holiday, we organize tasting traditional cuisine , live music and dancing and games along the streets of downtown lit by the light of lanterns.

1/ The history of Hoi An

Ceramic fragments dating back more than two millennia were recently discovered in Hoi These shards attest to the occupiedtion of the city in the Sa Huynh culture, related to the Dong Son North Vietnam culture, dating back to the end of the iron Age.

Located in the center of the kingdom of Champa, the city was built at the time of the construction of the Cham capital Simhapura (Tra Kieu) and temples Indrapura (Dong Duong) and My Son. Several Persian and Arabic documents from the end of that time describe Hoi An as a busy port city. Several vestiges including foundations cham towers were also updated in the immediate vicinity.

In 1307, the Cham king married the daughter of a monarch of the Tran dynasty and donated to the Vietnamese province of Quang Nam. At his death, his successor challenged the legitimacy of the presentmacy and began to recover the province. For over a century, the region was in chaos, until in the fifteenth century, when peace returned, the commerce again became flourishing.

The next four centuries, traders from all walks of Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Espagnols, Indian, Filipino, Thai, French, English and Americans came there ... fill their bunkers silk, fabrics, tea, betel nut, sugar, paper, porcelain, pepper, Chinese herbal medicines, ivory, lacquer and mother of pearl.

Traders sailed with them missionaries responsible for spreading the gospel. Thus, in the fifteenth century landed Father Alexandre de Rhodes, inventor of writing quoc ngu, which latinisait the calligraphyphy of the Vietnamese language.

Tay Son revolt, however, was fatal to the city, which was razed and rebuilt in the 1770s and 1780s. Hoi An regained its former glory along with its status as a major commercial harbor at the end just  nineteenth century. The silting of the Thu Bon River (Cai), which connects Hoi An to the sea, however eventually a fatal blow to the port activity, which was gradually moved to Danang.

*/ The Japanese Covered Bridge

The Japanese Bridge (Cau Nhat Ban) was built in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the Japanese district and neighborhood Chinese, on the other side. Apparently designed to withstand earthquakes, particularly feared phenomena in Japan, it has a adorns mentation fairly faithful to the Japanese style, which contrasts in its simplicity with luxury decorations Vietnamese and Chinese.

A small temple of Chua Cau is installed in its northern part. According to legend, a monster called Cu gigantic size, his head resting in India, its tail in Japan and his body in Vietnam, caused each of its movements, floods and earthquakes. The bridge was erected at the same location of the "Achilles heel" of the infernal beast. Later, the animal killing, local people have built this temple in his memory.

If the French began to flatten the floor to allow the crossing by vehicles, he found his original convex shape after major renovations made ​​in 1986. Accesses are kept on one side by a couple of monkeys and the other two dogs. Presumably, the presence of these guards will be justified by the duration of construction, which would have started the year of the Monkey, and ended the year of the Dog.

2/ Places of worship

*/ The Quan Cong Temple

Chinese Quan Cong Temple, also called Chua Ong, was founded in 1653 in honor of Quan Cong. We discover a statue of paper on a wooden core, towering over the central altar at the back of the sanctuary. On one side, left, stands the statue of General Chau Xuong, protector of Quan Cong in a flattering pose; another, Quan Binh, an administrative Mandarin. One size white horse nature reminds mount Quan Cong.

Stone steles, walls, lists of patrons who financed the construction and renovation of the temple. Other item belonging to Chinese mythology, carp adorn the roofs, symbolizing patience.

*/ Chapel of the Truong family (Nha Tho Truong Toc)

The Chapel of the Truong family (Nha Tho Truong Top) was founded two centuries ago, in honor of the Chinese Truong family ancestors. You will discover quantity of plaques offered by the Vietnamese emperors, rewarding loyal service officials and mandarins from the family. The chapel is accessible by a small alley next to the Phan Chu Trinh str..

*/ Tran Family Chapel

Located 21 Le Loi str., this former chapel two centuries is dedicated to the ancestors. The building combines Chinese and Japanese influences in its construction was funded by the Chinese family Tran, arrived in Vietnam early eighteenth century dates. On the altar, wooden boxes contain the stone tablets of the ancestors, decorated with Chinese characters.

*/ Gantry Ba Mu Pagoda

These are the last vestiges of the Ba Mu Pagoda, founded in 1628 and destroyed by the South Vietnamese government in the 1960s. A three-storey school building replaces. Between the two inputs, fruits adorn the wall. The entrance is opposite 68 Phan Chu Trinh str..

*/ Cao Dai Pagoda

Between 64 and 70 Huynh Thuc Khang str., it was built for the Cao Dai community in the city, located to most of the long path leading to Japanese graves. One priest saw, cultivating his garden. 

*/ Church of Hoi An

It is here, in the courtyard, the Europeans Hoi were put in graves. The remains of several missionaries of the eighteenth century there were transferred during the reconstruction of a modern church, an older replacement. It is located at the intersection of Nguyen Truong To str. and Le Hong Phong str..

*/ Chuc Thanh Pagoda

This pagoda is the oldest of Hoi An was founded in 1454 by Minh Hai, a monk from China, it houses ritual objects: bells, a gong old stone 200 years and a gong -shaped wooden carp even older. Today, many older monks live in the pagoda.

A Di Da Buddha, accompanied by two Thich Ca, stands on the central dais, under a wooden ceiling, facing the statue of a young Buddha Thich Ca surrounded by his servants. In the main shrine, Chinese characters adorn a red beam.

*/ Phuoc Lam Pagoda

Built in the mid-seventeenth century, Phuoc Lam Pagoda was led by An Thiem, a Vietnamese monk who devoted himself to monastic life at the age of 8 years. A decade later, the emperor threatened rebellion, the general made before he returned to the religious life, at the end of the war. Doing penance for his war crimes, he cleaned the Hoi An market for twenty years, and was appointed head of Phuoc Lam Pagoda, the finished atoning period .

*/ Common Houses

Common home of the Chinese congregation Canton

Founded in 1786, the 176 Tran Phu str., one can see a large altar dedicated to Quan Cong, surrounded by fans of copper long neck and beautiful carvings on the wooden columns and beams jackfruit; lintel, amounts of the main gate and columns made ​​from a single block of granite.

*/ House Chinese congregations (Ba Chua)

House Chinese congregations (Chua Ba) was founded in 1773 to receive the Chinese congregations Fujian, Canton, Hainan, Hakka and Chaozhou. Found in the main courtyard blade elements typical of the French architecture of the nineteenth century. The main entrance is in Tran Phu str., opposite Hoang Van Thu str.. However, it can only be accessed from the rear by Phan Chu Trinh str..

*/ Ghaozhou Fujian Chinese Congregation

Originally built to allow the raising of the community, it was transformed into dedicated to the worship of Thien Hau , divinity born in the province of Fujian temple. On the right wall, near the entrance, Thien Hau through a disassembled to rescue a ship in distress Sea. On the other side, there are the heads of the six families who came to settle in Hoi An, after the fall of the Ming Dynasty. The statue of the goddess dominates the penultimate room, Thuan Phong Nhi while, red skin, and Thien Ly Nhan green skin, ensure to locate vessels in distress, and notify Thien Hau. 

In the last flag, the central altar houses the statues of six heads of families, and smaller, placed below the effigy of their successors at the head of the clan. Under a bell glass, there are another statue, that of Le Huu Trac, a Vietnamese doctor also famous in Vietnam and China. 

Behind the altar, left, stands the god of prosperity, and right three fairies and twelve midwives, symbolizing to them the essential elements of life: ancestry, descent and well-being equipment. To the right of the court, the central altar honors the former heads of the Chinese congregation.

The town house of the Chinese congregation Fujian is facing 35 Tran Phu str.

*/ Ghaozhou Hainan Chinese Congregation

Built in 1883, it was dedicated to the memory of 108 chants March Hainan wrongly accused piratery and executed in the province of Quang Nam, during the reign of Emperor Tu Duc. Found on the stands richly decorated plaques. In front of the central altar, you can see a wooden sculpture finely gilded feeling repre a scene from the Chinese court.

The town house of the Congregation of Hainan given in Tran Phu str. near Hoang Dieu str..

Ghaozhou Chaozhou Chinese Congregation

Chinese originating Chaorhou town house built in 1776. Wooden beams, walls and altars are finely carved. Facing the altar, on the doors, you can see two Chinese topped the Japanese.

3/ The architecture of Hoi An

Miraculously untouched by the war, most of the wooden buildings of the city are back in the nineteenth century. Was well documented in the city more than 800 historic buildings, class according to nine categories: houses and shops, well, private chapels dedicated to the worship of an ancestor, pagodas, Vietnamese and Chinese temples, bridges, public buildings, public houses Chinese congregations, tombs and Vietnamese, Chinese or Japanese.


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