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Đình Bảng communal hall in Bac Ninh

Đình Bảng (Dinh Bang) communal hall is one of the largest and finest village communal houses in Vietnam. It is located in Đình Bảng village, Từ Sơn district, in Bắc Ninh Province of the Red River Delta, 30 km to the North from Hanoi.

Photo: Trieu Chien

Dinh Bang Communal House was built in 1736 in Dinh Bang village where used to be the fatherland of Kings Ly (the Ly dynasty) during their reign of 1010-1225. The house still remains its distinctive features of 18th architecture, particularly the roof and the main pillars.

Đình Bảng communal house is used for the worshiping of Cao Sơn Đại vương (Mountain spirit), Thủy Bá Đại vương (Water spirit), and Bạch Lệ Đại vương (God of agriculture), together with the six individuals who rebuilt Đình Bảng village in the 15th century after it was devastated during the Ming occupation (1408-1428). The hall also functions as the village meeting hall and the seat of the local government office.

Photo: Trieu Chien

Movie: Handhome
Production Team: Trieu Chien, Tuan Quan
Year: 10.2018
Location: Dinh Bang communal hall, Tu Son, Bac Ninh

Photo: Trieu Chien
Photo: Trieu Chien
Photo: Trieu Chien
Photo: Trieu Chien
Photo: Trieu Chien

Communal hall in Vietnamese called “Đình”. The image of the communal house is intimately rooted in the heart of the Vietnamese. The đình is the symbol of their identity. Already, in the XII century, under Lý dynasty, an edict stated that on all the Vietnamese territory, each village must build its own đình. This one followed the Vietnamese during their advancement to the south from the XIth to the XVIIIth century.

Firstly, it was implemented in the center of Vietnam through Thanh Hóa and Nghệ An provinces under Lê dynasty and then Thuận Hóa and Quảng Nam provinces under Mạc dynasty and finally in the Mekong delta at the point of Cà Mau with Nguyễn lords. Its construction evolved to adapt not only to new climate, new lands acquired and new materials available found on local site but also traditions and regional customs throughout entire course over thousands of kilometers during the four centuries of expansion.

Except the Central Highlands, cradle of the ancestral culture of ethnic minorities, the « đình » succeeds to distinguish itself in diversity with a style and a own architecture for each district within each region. Built a few centuries earlier, the « đình » in the North remains the reference for the majority of Vietnamese because it is chosen not for its aesthetic character but rather for its original character. It is the authentic symbol of rural life of the Vietnamese people over the centuries. It has been erected the first by Vietnamese village culture in the Red River delta.

The đình in the north is not only an assembly of columns, main rafters and all sorts of components joined by mortises and tenons on stone foundation but it is also a wooden frame on which is based the roof reinforced by its own weight. One of the characteristics of Vietnamese communal house is found in the role of the columns used to sustain the roof. Its look is very imposing thanks to these large main columns

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