Ancient Điện Hải Citadel to be restored
Update: Mar 24, 2020
A fund of VNĐ84 billion (US$3.6 million) has been reserved for the conservation of the ruined Điện Hải Citadel in the central city in 2020.

An entrance to the ruined Điện Hải Citadel in Đà Nẵng. The city wil restore the citadel as per its original design. VNS Photo Công Thành

The city’s Culture and Sports department said the fund will be used to restore the original gates in the west and east, the flag platform and 11 cannons, among other items.

An underground exhibition room will be built covering 453sq.m, displaying exhibits and artefacts related to the old citadel.

The Điện Hải citadel, which was first constructed as a military outpost in the 12th year of King Gia Long’s reign (1813), was first restored in 2018 – one year after it was recognised as a National Special Relic.

A wall of the Điện Hải Citadel is preserved. The old citadel area was used as the city museum from the 1990s. VNS Photo Công Thành

An excavation has unearthed a section of the foundations and walls of a trench southwest of the ruined Điện Hải Citadel in the city’s downtown district following a restoration project that began last month.

Director of Đà Nẵng Museum Huỳnh Đình Quốc Thiện said the first excavation in 2018 exposed a 126m wall on the west of the citadel, which was built using brick and mortar.

Meanwhile, a section of foundations was also found next to the citadel wall on the west side. This foundation was built from laterite and pebble.

According to the national heritage council, the ruins of the citadel may be the last monument in Đà Nẵng that symbolises the sacrifice of local people and soldiers in the fight against French-Spanish colonial forces in 1858-60.

A gate of the ruined Điện Hải Citadel. A restoration project will help preserve the citadel in 2020. VNS Photo Công Thành

The statue of Nguyễn Tri Phương (1800-73), a famous general who commanded the Vietnamese army to fight the French-Spanish colonial forces (1858-60), will be restored.

The citadel, which was used as the site of the city’s museum on Trần Phú Street, was first built as a military outpost, near the mouth of the Hàn River, to control access to Đà Nẵng Port and serve as an important defensive position.

Đà Nẵng will dismantle and move the modern museum to another site so the citadel can be fully restored.

A collection of 11 iron cannons cast during the Nguyễn Dynasty between 1802 and 1860 and unearthed at the Điện Hải Citadel between 1979 and 2008, are planned for recognition as a national treasure, according to the department.