Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN- HUẾ — Cultural authorities of Thừa Thiên- Huế and Đà Nẵng are establishing landmarks around Hải Vân Quan, a relic lying on the border separating the two localities.
This is the first part of a joint action plan that Huế’s and Đà Nẵng’s departments of culture and sports have committed to in order to protect the historic brick Hải Vân Quan gate from deterioration and human encroachment.
Representatives of the departments of culture and sports have recently met on the peak of Hải Vân Pass, where the gate sits. They discussed and agreed on urgent works that could protect the gate from ruin, signs of which began to appear some 30 years ago.
Following the erection of landmarks to help visitors recognise the heritage site, the departments will destroy works that have no cultural links to the gate to ensure the authenticity of the building, including the concrete blockhouses, newly-built watch towers and home foundations built by vendors.
They will also erect signboards in both Vietnamese and English languages to introduce the history of the gate and guide visitors.
Clean toilets will be built. The departments also have plan to work with the departments of natural resources and the environment and local authorities of Phú Lộc District in Thừa Thiên- Huế Province and Liên Chiểu District in Đà Nẵng City for land and vendor management.
Particularly, the natural resources departments must identify the area designated for forestry and farming to prevent plantation activities from encroaching heritage land. Meanwhile, local district authorities will categorize local households according to their trading needs so that culture departments can arrange them in an orderly trading zone near the relic gate.
According to Đà Nẵng culture department’s director Huỳnh Văn Hùng, the departments had awaited a joint action plan long before Hải Vân Quan was recognised as a national heritage site in April. Both Huế and Đà Nẵng want to work on conserving the building, but it was difficult because it sat on the border between the cities, he said.
However, the heritage recognition has helped foster joint preservation work, Hùng added.
Hải Vân is a mountain cliff clinging from the Trường Sơn Range and pointing to the sea. On its peak, a Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945)’s king built the giant brick gate in 1826 to mark the border of the former Huế imperial capital’s land and name it Hải Vân Quan.
Today it is a popular tourism site thanks to the picturesque scene, with views 490m above sea level and a fresh cool breeze.
For decades, the brick gate was left in ruin, due to conflicts between the two localities over benefits and responsibilities. According to Phan Tiến Dũng, director of Thừa Thiên- Huế’s culture department, he initiated a programme to preserve the historic building 20 years ago, but it failed to get permit from the localities. — VNS