Hanoi, Vietnam's capital city, is a picturesque blend of Vietnamese and French

colonial traditions with beautiful parks and lakes in the midst of urban hustle and bustle.

In mid-August 1945, the Vietminh called for the people to rise up against the French in an announcement made

at the Municipal Theatre (pictured above). At this same site, Ho Chi Minh's first coalition government was presented

to the people on January 1, 1946. Having negotiated terms of independence with the French, on March 6, 1946, the

president stood on the balcony of this building and declared, "I, Ho Chi Minh, have fought alongside my

compatriots all my life for the independence of our Fatherland. I would rather die than betray my country."

Van Mieu, The Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, was established in 1070 and in

1076 it was combined with Vietnam's first university to train a scholarly elite to become senior

mandarins. The French eliminated the examinations that had been held here in 1915.


Street scenes in Hanoi.

The Hanoi Central Prison

Nicknamed "The Hanoi Hilton" by American prisoners of war held here during "the Vietnam War," Hanoi's

Central Prison is now a memorial to the victims of oppression during the French Colonial era when

patriots who were held here were subject to tortures which are documented in a series of bas-reliefs.


A banner marking the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ho Chi Minh decorates the roadside beside

Ho Hoan Kiem, the "Lake of the Restored Sword" where King Le Thai To returned the sword that he

used in his decade-long struggle against the Chinese to the Divine Turtle from whom he had received it.



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