Hanoi: Ngoc Son temple with Stories about The Huc Bridge

Knowing that The Huc bridge had been burned, French army garrisoning at Tran Quoc temple, Chau Long Pagoda and Yen Phu village had to move to other places. Hai Nguyen was too young and immature; therefore, after burning the bridge, he told one of his friend about the story, and this friend retold the story to his father named Ca Nghe living in Hang Mam street. Unfortunately, Ca Nghe notified the French army, two days later, French troops arrested Hai Minh at his house. Hai Minh was only 17 years old, so he was imprisoned instead of being given the death penalty. Later, the French commander in Northern put him into groups of ammunition and food carriers to serve French soldiers invading in the northern mountainous provinces. In the winter of 1888, Minh was exiled to Thai Nguyen following the expeditionary force at Chu market (Bac Can province). Taking advantage of weary the dozing weary guards, Hai Ming escaped but because he didn’t know the terrain well, finally, ho was captured and sentenced to death at the age of 18.

After the bridge had been burned by Hai Minh, people fixed, built the floor with pieces of wood so that the Buddhists and residents could go to Ngoc Son temple more easily. In the book named "Hanoi and the vicinities " written by Claudius Madrolle published in 1892, the authors wrote: "The Huc Bridge was rebuilt in 1887 to replace the rickety bridge. It was replaced by a charming wooden bridge which had an aesthetic value, painted red with curved shape like a rainbow ".

The repair of The Huc Bridge

The Huc Bridge in 1948

Not only did the candidates attending the Prefectural examination come to Ngoc Son to worship and pray before the exam, but the authors and writers also visited and worshipped here, said the writer Vu Bang in his report about his experience in The Huc bridge.

The Huc Bridge in 1952

In the New Year of  Nham Thin (1952), because The Huc bridge was overcrowded with people coming to pray, it collapsed. Therefore, Tham Hoang Tin, the incumbent mayor of Hanoi at that time, decided to demolish the old bridge and build a new one. In order to have beautiful design, Mr. Thin held a design competition, and in more than three dozen samples of both French and Vietnamese architect, the design of architect Nguyen Ngoc Diem (1908-1999) was selected . The bridge retained the rainbow shape, but Nguyen Ngoc Diem designed it to become more curved so that it would be stronger and more beautiful. Bridge also retained the 16 round pillars but the top of the pillars were sharp-edged, which was reminiscent of the victory of Ngo Quyen on Bach Dang River in 938.

Today, The Huc bridge is still there, is the connection between the bank of Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple. The Huc has witnessed many ups and downs of Vietnam’s history and society. The combination of Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake has created a unified architecture of Heaven - Human, created the ancient and harmonious beauty of the temple and the lake, spring up the feeling of harmony between human and nature. The Temple and the lake are the retainer of national history, awaken the legitimacy pride, patriotism, as well as raise the awareness of Vietnamese people in the survival of the nation . For Hanoi people, Hoan Kiem Lake is not only a place of getting some fresh air, a place for boating, but is also associated with their life in many aspects: on the Eve, people eagerly enjoy the spring around the lake. In Spring, the lake is a good meeting place for young men and women to go to nearby churches and temples.

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