Dong Nai Province on Thursday started restoration work on an ancient citadel, the southern region’s only surviving one so far.
The 300-year-old Bien Hoa Citadel, located in the province’s Bien Hoa City, around 30km from the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, witnessed major historical upheavals.
Over the course of time, the citadel, recognized as a national relic in November last year, has sustained extensive damage and erosion.
The restoration project costs over VND14 billion (US$649,324) and is slated for completion in 2017.
The work came after year-long research and consultation.
The original earthen form of the citadel was built by Chan Lap people in the 14th or 15th centuries.
In 1837, a king of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) – the country’s last- rebuilt the structure with laterite and named it Bien Hoa Citadel.
After around 300 years, the remnants, including a French-styled mansion, have turned dilapidated. In 2010, the provincial People’s Committee gave its nod to a restoration project worth VND41 billion ($1.9 million) on the citadel.
However, the project was not implemented due to a shortage of funding.
In related news, the paving and consolidation of the 600m path leading to Ho Thien Pagoda in Dong Trieu District in northern Quang Ninh province, has recently been completed, the National Administration of Tourism said Friday on its website.
The newly paved path makes it easier for pilgrims and visitors to visit the pagoda, which is nestled on Phat Son Mount.
The pagoda is part of the Special National Relic of Tran Dynasty (1226–1400).
The path is paved and cemented on Buddhist’ monetary contributions and funding mobilized from the society.
The district authorities are also planning to renovate the century-old pagoda.