Thanh Toan bridge – An extremely unique ancient architecture in Hue
Thanh Toan bridge is one of the few bridges possessing extremely unique architectural features in Vietnam. Because of its unique beauty, this project has become a famous and attractive place for many tourists from Vietnam and other countries to visit every year.
About the history of Thanh Toan bridge
According to some documents, recorded historical records, this famous tile bridge in Hue was built in 1776, thanks to the great merits of a woman named Tran Thi Dao. She is the 6th grandchild of one of the 12 who had publicly reclaimed and built Thanh Thuy village, holding the position of “special patriarch of the army general to protect the deputy governor”. Her husband was a big official in the court at that time. At one point, she followed her husband to the North to live, but only a while later she returned to her hometown.
In the small village where she lives there is a river flowing through. People in the village working on the fields on the other side of the river have to row boats, travel activities must be attached to boats and boats, so it is quite hard and time-consuming. Through the rainy, dry and bitter seasons, seeing the villagers all having a hard time to cross the river, she thought there must be something to change this. With the virtue and compassion for the villagers, she spent her own money to build a bridge for people to travel more conveniently. The bridge can also be used as a place to stop, relax, meet, talk to people in the village.
Road to Thanh Toan bridge
Address: Thanh Thuy Chanh Village, Phu Vang, Thua Thien – Hue
Get directions to Thanh Toan tile bridge
Located in the outskirts of Hue, about 7-8 km from the center to the Southeast. The route is not too far, and there are many routes to this place. If you start from the center of the city, you can go straight to To Huu Street, turn right then, go to the intersection of Hoang Quoc Viet Street and turn left from here, you will go straight to the Ngoi Bridge Market.
The road to this location is close and easy to go, but the road is quite narrow so you can only make your trip by bike or motorbike.
Architecture of Thanh Toan bridge
Fishing rods with unique architecture such as Thanh Toan tile bridge are no longer many. In the North, you can come across this architecture again at Phu Khe and Khuc Thoai bridges. Central Vietnam also has Cau Pagoda in Hoi An and Thanh Toan tile bridge. These bridges are built in the “upper house of upper house” architecture (above the house, below the bridge), and are appreciated for artistic value.
This bridge is built on a system of 3 pillars made of wood, each row consists of 6 columns, the support columns are made of stone. To prevent subsidence, the rows of columns are connected by a mortise block. Two bridges are placed at both ends, the focal points are connected to the system of support pillars, concrete bars. This bridge is also built with 7 drainage systems.
At the two ends of the bridge, the support rods that run along the middle of the bridge were broken to the upward section to create a curved shape for the bridge, partly to create a certain height to help the ships and boats pass more easily. The pillars are also connected by large, horizontal wooden trunks. From the timber will build the column to build the upper house. The two sides of the bridge with 4 rows of columns, in the middle are to support a walkway. Outside, the bridge is attached with a wooden railing to make it safer.
In the nave, there is an altar, which is sealed, and the rest is ventilated. Designed according to the old architecture, Thanh Toan tile bridge in Hue has the tie beams systems made in the form of double beams, the lower beams will go through the mast, the upper beam will be placed on the ends.
Most of the bridge’s support parts are made of wood, but on the columns, the beams are not carved, instead they are merely two types of square and round sections. As for the roof, the bridge is meticulously carved by artisans with the theme of the four spirits with the image of Long – Lan – Quy – Phung. Previously, the roof was decorated with a Giao Long, but later it was replaced by a pair of flanking phoenix in the middle and two stylized dragons.
Unique features at Thanh Toan bridge
This bridge has a total length of 16.85 meters, a width of 4.63 meters, and is divided into 7 spaces. From the outside look at you will see the overall bridge has the shape of a house. It is just an outside feeling, but when you step inside you will find it more true, because it is divided into 7 rooms as 7 small rooms of a house. When you enter a traditional house, you will also see an ancestor altar usually placed in the middle, as well as this bridge. An altar is placed in the middle of the bridge to worship and pay homage to the people who have contributed to the construction of this project. On both sides, each side has 3 compartments made of high podiums like tables and chairs in the house. This is also a typical architecture of bridges built in the style of “upper house of upper house.”
Coming here to hear about Thanh Toan tile bridge, you will see that this bridge is not only built for the purpose of helping people travel more conveniently, but it is also a place to stop from rain, sun or cool in sultry summer noises. Perhaps that is why this bridge was built as a house across the river.
At the top of the bridge you will see a large area. This is the place where often the fun activities, meetings, trade of the guides in the village. Near the bridge, there is also a communal house, this place is often the place where village festivals, community activities, as well as trade and markets are held.
Every year, on the third day of the Lunar New Year, the Bai Choi festival is held here. And on August 15 of the Lunar Calendar, a festival is also held very grandly here. According to the people, this day is the anniversary of the death of Mrs. Tran Thi Dao. During the festival, people will pick her up from the communal house to pray for a ceremony, then take her back to the communal house. After the rituals are completed, it will be time for fun activities, folk games such as tug of war, boat racing on the river, pounding rice … will take place. In addition, every 2 years a rural fair is also held here.
Dating back more than 200 years, Thanh Toan tile bridge has become an indispensable part of the people of Thanh Thuy village. Not only possessing high artistic values, it also brings tremendous spiritual value. If you have the opportunity to visit the dreamy Hue, you should not miss this attractive tourist destination.
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