Hoan Kiem Lake
Location: Hoan Kiem Lake is located in the center of Hanoi.
Characteristic: Hoan Kiem Lake also called Lake of the Restored Sword. The name Lake of the Restored Sword is derived from a legend.
After ten years of
hard fighting (1418 - 1428), the Lam Son insurrectionists led by Le Loi
swept the foreign invaders out of the country of Dai Viet (Great Viet),
ending the Ming's 20-year domination over the Viet people. Le Loi became
a national hero, proclaiming himself kings, called Le Thai To and
establishing his capital in Thang Long. |
a beautiful afternoon, the king and his entourage took a dragon-shaped
boat for sight-seeing on Luc Thuy (Green Water) Lake, which was located
in the centre of Thang Long Capital (present-day Hanoi). As the boat was
gliding on the lake, suddenly there was a great wave and on top of the
wave, the Golden Tortoise Genie appeared, telling the king: "Your
Majesty, the great work is completed. Would you please return the sacred
sword to the King of the Sea?".
The precious sword was formerly
lent to Le Loi by the King of the Sea and was always beside him
throughout his battles and helped him win over the Ming invaders. At the
time the Tortoise Genie spoke, the sword hung at the King's waist. It
then moved out of the scabbard and flew towards the Genie. The Genie
kept the sword in his mouth and dived under the water and bright
lightning flashed up to the sky. Since then, Luc Thuy Lake has been
called the Restored Sword Lake or the Sword Lake for short.
Sword Lake is not only a historical site but also a beauty-spot of the
capital. When visiting Hanoi, Ludemis, a Greek poet, exclaimed: The
Sword Lake - An emerald jewel set in the heart of the city, With the Red
River as a silk ribbon around.
It is said that when visiting
Hanoi, if the visitor does not see the Sword Lake, then they would not
have actually been in Hanoi. The lake is an endless topic and
inspiration for painters, poets, writers, music composers, etc, and
innumerable works about the lake have been produced.
Once, a famous Japanese painter said to
the late-painter Van Giao that he had painted dozens of pictures of
Mount Fuji - the second to none beauty spot of Japan. Then painter Van
Giao replied by saying that he had painted hundreds of pictures of the
The Sword Lake is really an emerald jewel of Hanoi.
For generations, the Vietnamese believed that deep in the green water of
the Sword Lake, there is a sacred sword of their ancestors, which is
carefully safeguarded by the golden tortoise. When the weather changes,
the tortoise emerges on the water surface to take a sun bath, seeming to
prove his existence and remind the young generation of their national
history of defending their country from foreign invaders.