The quiet beauty of the ‘second Hanoi’s Old Quarter Area’
Formed at the beginning of the 19th century, Ha Dong was once a bustling ancient town. The old houses located on the banks of the Nhue River adorned themselves with the contemplative beauty of time. The tranquil landscapes and its old residents reminisced people of the heyday over 100 years ago.
Ha Dong town was officially established on December 6, 1904 (in former Ha Dong province. In 2008, it became a district of Hanoi city. The merge and redistribution of administrative boundaries of the capital have turned Ha Dong town into the largest district of Hanoi.
French colonial architecture still leaves its mark on old houses, reminding residents of a busy old town in the early 19th century.
Under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Ha Dong district was located on the territory of Cau Do village in Thanh Oai Commune, Ung Hoa District, Hanoi. The land is famous for being home to many handicraft products such as Van Phuc silk, Da Sy cutlery, Trach Xa Ao dai, among others.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the old town was re-planned by the French colonialists. In a traditional way, the main roads are widened and organized under a grid layout with Ha Dong market at the center.
According to the book entitled “Ha Dong Town – Now and Then” (Ha Dong Town’s People Comittee 2004), Ha Dong town’s area was only about 1,000 square meter when it was first created in 1904. The town is located along National Highway 6 on the banks of Nhue River. Trade was bustling inside the ancient houses with large facades along the old streets.
Through the long period and many ups and downs of history, the charming constructions still remained quite intact. The house at 8 Phan Boi Chau Street was built in the 1920s.
The neighborhoods of Tran Hung Dao, Ba Trieu, Trung Trac, Trung Nhi and Bui Bang Doan Streets used to be the central streets of Ha Dong town in the past.
The intersection of Ba Trieu – Tran Hung Dao Streets resembles the scenery of Hanoi’s Old Quarter Area in the old days.
The house at 46-48 Tran Hung Dao still retains the same exterior like it was first built decades ago.
Tran Thi Dinh (82) – the owner of house number 46 Tran Hung Dao said she has been living in this house since the day she was born. The construction integrity is still stable with handmade terracotta floors, ironwood doors, and staircases still remaining intact to this day.
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