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One-pillar pagoda in Hanoi

osted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Learning Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh – This pagoda is located in the Một Cột (one-pillar pagoda) street and near President Hồ Chí Minh’s mausoleum and museum, in Ba Đình district, Hà Nội.

It stands in the middle of a square lake constituting part of the Buddhist architectural complex called Diên Hựu pagoda (Diên Hựu: long-lasting auspice). It was initially called Nhất Trụ (One Pillar) and the thereafter was called Liên Hoa Đài (Lotus Flower). But the former has become popular since long.

It is square in form, each dimension being 3m, and has a curved roof. Its foundation is a two-part cylindrical stone pillar, with a diameter of 1m20 and a height of 4m (not including the part which is submerged in the water and the ground). The upper part of the pillar has a solid framework of beams supporting the pagoda, which thus looks like a lotus flower standing over a square pond surrounded by a brick balustrade. A small brick-paved lane leads from the pond to a staircase which leads to the pagoda, the front part of which bears the inscription “Liên Hoa Đài”.

Một Cột pagoda is associated with a dream of King Lý Thái Tông (1028 -1054). The fact that he was then quite old and still childless most depressed the King. One night he had a dream in which he saw Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva sitting on a lotus tower and holding in her hand a child. She handed the child to the King. Thereafter, the King ordered a pagoda to be built similar to the one he saw in his dream: a pond, a tower based on a pillar evoking a lotus flower springing from the pond. The pagoda was called Liên Hoa Đài and dedicated to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

The construction of the pagoda started in 1049 and it underwent successive repairs during the Lý, Trần, lê dynasties.

On September 11, 1954, just before their withdrawal from Hà Nội, French troops used mines to destroy the pagoda. In 1955 it was rebuilt.

The pagoda is regarded as one of the symbols of Hà Nội.

Read more: http://vlstudies.com/vn/news–events/learn-vietnamese-online/one-pillar-pagoda-in-hanoi/975/1

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