Hai Van Gate, which sits at the top of its namesake mountain pass in central Vietnam separating Da Nang City and Thua Thien-Hue Province, has been recognized as a national relic.
The inscription was made official on Saturday with a decision from Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, according to Phan Thanh Hai, director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center.
Hai Van Gate is a relic with profound historical, architectural and artistic values that connects Da Nang’s Lien Chieu District with Thua Thien-Hue’s Phu Loc District.
The gate sits at the top of Hai Van Pass, which runs approximately 21 kilometers traversing a spur of the larger Annamite Range that juts into the East Vietnam Sea in central Vietnam.
The relic complex was built in 1826 under the rule of the Nguyen dynasty’s Emperor Minh Mang, who ordered the construction of multiple defensive structures on Hai Van Pass to protect the then-capital of imperial Vietnam in Hue.
Hai Van Gate is seen in this file photo from a magazine published in 1921.
Located 490 meters above sea level, Hai Van Gate literally means ‘ocean cloud gate,’ referring to the mists that rise from the sea, reducing visibility.
According to available historical records, following the gate’s completion, Emperor Minh Mang inscribed its name in Vietnamese, ‘Hai Van Quan’, onto one side of the gate, and the words ‘Thien ha de nhat hung quan’ (world’s most marvelous wonder) on another.
The gate had at one point been left to fall into disrepair as neither administrations of Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue took responsibility for its maintenance.
Nowadays, Hai Van Gate has grown to become a popular attraction among local and foreign tourists who visit central Vietnam.
Hai Van Gate