Lam Kinh is a historic location in Tho Xuan Distric, Thanh Hoa Province and 200km from Hanoi City in the south-west. It’s a wonderful land of lofty mountain ranges and the palatial citadel, built on the ruins of ancient Cham ethnics in the south of Dau mountain range.
In old times, Lam Kinh was sacred land, the home village of national hero Le Loi and the insurrection Lam Son. Under Le So dynasty, Lam Kinh is considered the 2nd capital. Generations and historic changes went by, Thai Mieu (the temple) and Lam Kinh palace were heavily destroyed, only relics remain, worth seeing now are Vinh Lang stone stele, tomb of king Le Thai To, tomb and stele of king Le Hien Tong.
Almost things have changed and some deserted but greenery is plentiful and most typical to see is a banyan and Chinese fig-tree, the roots of the banyan climb round a fig-tree. On the left is Vinh Lang stele-house. The house was rebuilt but the tortoise to support the stele, sculptured of sedimentary rocks, the black shell of the animal is 500 years old. The stele is 2.79m high, 1.94m wide and 0.27m thick, made of Thanh stone, carved in with “luong long chau nguyet” or two dragons wait for the moon, with flower decoration on either sides. Vinh Lang stele is really a master piece, very precious in Vietnam’s earlier Le dynasty cultural heritage, a contribution to national identities.
Besides the stele-house, visitor will be opportune to visit temples dedicated to king Le Thai To, Le Lai, tombs of king Le Thanh Tong, Le Hien Tong and the ancient citadel Lam Kinh. The citadel-palace Lam Kinh was built in a region with beautiful landscapes. On the north is mount Dau, the south is Chu river. On the right is range Phu Lam and mount Ngoc Giang Den, a bowlike mountain to protect eastern side. On the left is mount Huong and mount Ham Rong to protect western side. Historically, Lam Kinh citadel was constructed both strongly and beautifully, there were Ngo Mon gate (moon gate, royal court with waiting dragons), tigers and elephants (made of stones), the main palace, the temple and many more architectural projects: right house, left house, king’s temple.
You will be really surprised to see a modest lifestyle of the great king’s tomb. It’s situated on a large ground shadowed by old trees. The tomb is square-shaped without decorative. Stone rodeo animals, stone attending mandarins are small but everything looks solemn and lofty. Lam Kinh relic is protected and upgraded by the state and the locals. A bridge over Ngoc stream is being built.
Archaeologists have found valuable documents in order to rebuild the palace.
Lam Kinh is not only a historic relic but good for eco-tourism. More and more visitors travel to the place.