In 1010, Ly Cong Uan moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La and renamed it into Thang Long. The royal proclamation to move the capital said: “Dai La Citadel is in the middle of heaven and earth and at the position of a dragon coiled or a tiger crouched. It was also located in the very middle of the North East and South West and looked towards rives and leaned against mountains. Looking all over Viet land, it is the land of scenic beauty and the meeting place of big events of the four directions and the capital of forever’’. In the Le Thanh Tong Dynasty, Dong Kinh Citadel or Thang Long Citadel was called Trung Do and Phung Thien palaces. In 1831, the Minh Mang King established Hanoi province which comprised the four districts of Hoai Duc, Ung Hoa, Thuong Tin and Ly Nhan and its township was situated at Hoai Duc, or the old Thang Long Citadel. Therefore, Thang Long is also known as Hanoi.
During the history of founding and defending the country, Ly
Cong Uan moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long, which was a great historical event, showing the nation’s will of iron and affirming the power concentration in the central level as well as opening a new page of Thang Long and the entire nation.
The Ly Dynasty paid special attention to studying and dealing with social and human resource issues, firstly those related to the State and the Law. A comprehensive apparatus of government was formed nationwide from the central to grassroots level.
Besides, legal activities were boosted. In 1042, Ly Thai Tong promulgated Book of Justice In 1054, Ly Thanh Tong came to the throne, named the country Dai Viet and built a centralized central government. From that, our country gradually became stable, and the Vietnamese culture was formed and developed in every field of the spiritual life. In 1070, the Ly Dynasty set up Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) at Thang Long Citadel to worship former scholars and opened classes for crown princes. The royal classrooms little by little were developed into the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam.
Within 138 years, the Ly Dynasty held six pre-Court competition-examinations and many for calligraphy, calculation and law. Math in the Ly Dynasty was applied to works related to books. Geography was also concentrated on and particularly map drawing techniques were initiated. In 1075, Ly Thuong Kiet drew the map of rivers and mountains of Bo Chinh and Ma Linh mountain districts and geography of Chiem Citadel to submit them to Ly King. The literature and art developed and the nation’s sence of perposes and uprightness was shown through works about Thang Long like “Royal proclamation to seek court officials’ opinions on moving Hoa Lu capital to Dai La Citadel” of Ly Cong Uan “The Southern country’s mountain and river” of Ly Thuong Kiet in the time to fight against the Tong invader. Painting and sculpture saw the strong development during this period to serve the religious demand.
Promoting positive aspects of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism at Thang Long
The atmosphere of learning as well as spiritual life of people in the Ly Dynasty at Thang Long Citadel was affected by the three of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, which was a general viewpoint. However, depending on different situations, leaders of Dai Viet sometimes showed their concern to each religion at different levels. Particularly, Ly Dynasty paid special attention to Buddhism. The dynasty built many pagodas, temples and towers like Mot Cot Pagoda, Bao Thien tower and the stages of Xa Tac, Vien Khau and Nam Giao. With the role being the intellectual circle of the age, monks had a great influence on the society. They opened schools for both Sangha and clergymen. Bonze Van Hanh taught Ly Cong Uan (Ly Thai To) at Luc To Pagoda. To Hien Thanh and Ngo Hoa Nghia were also trained and received instruction from Monk Tri Thien on Cao Da Mountain. In the Ly Dynasty, Buddhism integrated into the life, becoming popular and was considered as a national religion. During the nation’s history, Dai Viet culture was named as Thang Long culture.