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Luy Thay is jewel of Quang Binh

Tourists often come to Dong Hoi District in Quang Binh Province for one reason – the magnificent Luy Thay (Master Rampart) on the Nhat Le River.


The Nhat Le River.

Due to its commanding presence and interesting past, Luy Thay remains arguably the most important attraction in this part of the country. Its rich history covers over 400 years, including what historians have called the 50-year civil war between Trinh and Nguyen families, the two armies that ruled the north and south of the country between 1558 and 1777.

This huge embankment, 34-kilometer long and consisting of three ramparts, the Truong Duc, Tran Ninh (or Dau Mau) and Truong Sa, was built in 1630 under the rule of Dao Duy Tu (1572-1634), a famous high-ranking mandarin of the Nguyen lords.

It took four years to complete the system. Made of layered clay and stones, and six meters high and six meters wide at the bottom, the structure was intended to strengthen the capital defense system. This structure is one of the biggest rampart works of the feudal dynasties in Vietnam.

Wars and farther time have taken their toll, and the impressive defense system that once protected the Nguyen lords’ reign from the attacks of the Trinh lords can now only be seen along the Nhat Le River. The 12-kilometer long Tran Ninh rampart is one of the few vestiges of the Luy Thay.

Another section can be found in the center of Dong Hoi Town, marked by Quang Binh Quan, one of the three gates built along the Truong Sa rampart.

Now on Tran Phu Street, the gate was first strengthened with stones in 1825 by King Minh Mang, the second emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). It was repaired again in 1961 but was almost completely destroyed by U.S. bombs during the American War.

In 1994, the Quang Binh Quan section, which is 8.4 meters long and two meters high, was restored and recognized as a national relic. Coming to the rampart, tourists should take a trek to Nhat Le Lighthouse to take in the panoramic view of the Nhat Le River, witnessing the riverside life of locals and fishermen.

SGT

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