The Citadel of Ho Dynasty is Vietnam’s latest tangible site recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Located in Thanh Hoa province, the citadel measuring 870m by 833m was built in 1397.

The citadel’s construction was supervised by the Tran dynasty’s top mandarin, Ho Quy Ly, who later occupied the citadel when he forcibly took the throne in 1400, changing the country’s name from Dai Viet to Dai Ngu.

Ho Quy Ly’s rise to power began the short-lived Ho dynasty, and that is why the citadel is still known as the Ho Dynasty Citadel.

Also known as the Tay Do Citadel, the ancient building is famous for being strategically located in the position that can ensure it is easily defended. The citadel is shielded by a mountain range to the north, while the Ma River runs to the west and the Buoi River to the south, creating a huge natural moat.

Unlike many other citadels that were built from bricks, the Ho Dynasty Citadel was built with huge stone slabs from nearby mountains. It features four arched entrances facing east, west, north and south.

With UNESCO’s recognition of the Ho Dynasty Citadel, Vietnam now has seven World Heritage sites, including Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam Province, the former royal capital of Hue, My Son sanctuary, Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and Thang Long-Hanoi Citadel remains.