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Year

Project Manager

Nguyen Huyen Chau

Creative & Design Director

Pham Dang Thanh Thao

12/2019

Design

Duong Minh Duc, Tran Ngoc Duong,

Nguyen Tue Linh

PATTERN DESIGNS OF HISTORICAL ARTEFACTS

EXCAVATED FROM THE THANG LONG CITADEL

THE MEANING OF LOTUS FLOWER

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Though unofficial, but Lotus was already recognized as the National Flower of Vietnam.

(In Feb 2012, Lotus was proposed to be the National Flower to the Government).

 

Lotus, despite its pure and sophisticated beauty, also represents for resilience and strong will, as the flower grow from small seed buried deeply under the mud, and bloom brightly under the sky.

 

Since the beginning of Vietnamese history, Lotus has been a dear companion through the ups and downs.

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 from Pexels

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Đại La dynasty, 8th-9th centuries

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Tile roofing strips attached to the sacred bird statue

Terracotta, Lý dynasty, 11th-12th centuries

Archaeology values

After years buried underneath layers of time, the mystery of Thăng Long Citadel is being revealed by Vietnamese archaeologists. Among which, there is a large number of 34 archaeological vestiges belongs to Đại La dynasty (pre -Thăng Long period).

 

Particularly, there are 17 wooden architectures which were recognized through a system of floor base, columns and roof tiles with beautiful decoration patterns. Especially the patterns of lotus or crocodile swimming in the water.

 

The decoration patterns and symbols during this time has shown a clear localization of culture – especially in the tube roof tiles with small petal lotus or sacred animals.

 

Archaeological researches were conducted by Center of Citadel Research, published on 2016.

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Tower corner piece | Terracotta, Trần dynasty, 13th-14th centuries

HISTORY TIMELINE

Year

966

Đinh - Pre-Lê dynasty

1009

Đại La dynasty

1225

Trần dynasty

1400

Lý dynasty

Patterns

When decided to relocate the capital from Hoa Lư to Đại La (now is known as Thăng Long – Hà Nội), King Lý Thái Tổ said: “The ancient Đại La citadel, previously led by Cao Vương, located in the middle of the earth and sky, with magnificent terrain as “flying dragon crouching tiger”, central of South North East West, backed by mountains and rivers. This area is wide yet flat, high yet bright, the residents will not suffer from darkness, the living things will be nurtured and prosperous”.

 

Đại La Citadel is the first enormous architectural construction, which set the foundation for the development of Thăng Long in the future. Legend said that, the land is so sacred that it took a long time to build the citadel.

Though there has not seen much sign of Đại La ancient foundation, however, there are many archaeological items being preserved in the National Assembly Museum.

ĐẠI LA DYNASTY

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Square tiles with lotus decorations

Terracotta, Đại La dynasty, 8th-9th centuries

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PATTERNS

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The archaeological heritage from Đinh – Pre-Lê dynasty has shown a specific transformation in decoration patterns compare to Đại La dynasty.

 

The patterns seem to be much simpler, sharp and

rustic – as it reflects a historical period of continuous wars and chaos.

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ĐINH - PRE-LÊ DYNASTY

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Đinh - Pre-Lê dynasty, 10th century

Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Đinh - Pre-Lê dynasty, 10th century

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PATTERNS

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LÝ DYNASTY

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Lý dynasty, 11th-13th centuries

When Lý Công Uẩn relocated the kingdom capital to Thăng Long, this has started the ownership of Vietnamese traditional culture – among which, this period has seen a peak in cultural-political systems, as well as the foundation for the nation development.

 

The lotus patterns during Lý Dynasty became more complex in details and variations, yet softer and more sophisticated than previous time.

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Lý dynasty, 11th-13th centuries

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PATTERNS

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TRẦN DYNASTY

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Trần dynasty, 13th-14th centuries

The lotus patterns of Trần Dynasty were simple, yet perfectly round and solid.

 

In this period, Buddhism is at the most prosperous and recognized as national religion. Therefore, the lotus patterns on architectural constructions during this time is not only for decorations, but also reflected the profound influence of Buddhism in this era.

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Decorative lotus frill roof tiles

Terracotta, Trần dynasty, 13th-14th centuries

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