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Aug 04, 2022 / 14:12

Unique architecture of Co Vu Communal House in Hanoi

Thanks to the renovation, the house has become a worthy space for cultural and religious activities in the capital city.

Located at 85 Hang Gai Street (Hang Gai Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi), Co Vu Communal House is not only a valuable monument in terms of history, culture, architecture and art, but also a cultural attraction for domestic and international visitors.

Co Vu Communal House is located at 85 Hang Gai Street of Hang Gai Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. 
Co Vu Communal House was built long ago to worship Grand Prince Bach Ma and Grand Prince Linh Lang, the tutelary gods of Thang Long Citadel’s Eastern and Western sections. Local residents also come here to pay tribute to Princess Bao Ninh, the first lady of the governor of Chan Dang prefecture during King Ly Nhan Tong’s reign (1072-1128).

Lying under the canopy of an old banyan tree, the communal house’s unique artistic value is reflected in carved wooden artifacts, including a horizontal inscribed board, couplets, decorative door frames, a worship throne and a Bat Buu set or eight precious worshiping objects lacquered in gold and crimson, contributing to its architectural beauty.

The cultural monument dates back to the Le Dynasty and has been classified as a city-level historical relic by the Hanoi People's Committee, by August 4, 2016.

Over its long history, the communal house has been restored many times in 1778 (the 39th Canh Hung year) under Le Hien Tong reign, in 1881 under King Tu Duc’s reign, and especially in 2007. It consists of three parts: nghi mon or the main gate, tien te or front hall and hau cung or sanctuary. This type of house features the typical floor plan of traditional architecture in the Old Quarter, with two buildings forming the Chinese letter 二 meaning “two”.

The monument introduces the merits and careers of the worshiped gods and proves the antiquity of the Co Vu communal house.

In 2019, the Co Vu Communal House was renovated in some items, including nghi mon (main house), garden, fencing walls, walkway, water supply, drainage, waterproofing treatment, along with lighting and fire protection installation, among others.

An incense offering ceremony was held last week to mark the reopening of the communal house.

According to the chairman of the People's Committee of Hang Gai Ward, Nguyen Manh Linh, the Co Vu Communal House keeps cultural artifacts of historical value, in which the most special are ancient stone steles embedded in the walls, dating back as far as 1778.

“The renovation work is a meaningful activity in promoting cultural and historical values, preserving heritage for future generations and meeting the people's religious needs,” he said.

“With such a giant renovation, Co Vu Communal House has become a worthy space for cultural and religious activities, bringing the community together as well as showing the beauty of Vietnamese culture,” he added.

The unique artistic value of the relic is reflected in carved wooden artifacts including a horizontal inscribed board, couplets, decorative door frames, and a worship throne, contributing to its architectural beauty. 

Twice a year at Co Vu Communal House, the local authority and people get together to perform rituals in commemoration of the merits of Bach Ma (on the 16th day of the 4th lunar month) and Linh Lang (on the 12th day of the 12th lunar month).

Before the completion of the renovation, Co Vu Communal House was opened to visitors on the 14th, 15th, 29th and 30th days of every lunar month. After the finish date (July 27, 2022) the People's Committee of Hang Gai Ward plans to open the site every day to welcome domestic and international visitors.

With its serene appearance imbued with traditional culture in the middle of a bustling shopping street, Co Vu Communal House is not only a valuable monument in terms of history, culture, architecture, and art, but also a cultural attraction for domestic and international visitors.

The decoration themes are still the traditional patterns of flowers and mythical creatures expressing the human aspiration towards nature.
It also houses cultural artifacts of historical value, in which the most special are ancient stone steles embedded in the walls, dating back to as far as 1778 and recording the construction, restoration, and people of merit.
Local people usually visit Co Vu Communal House to worship Bach Ma Genie (on the 16th day of the 4th lunar month) and Linh Lang Genie (on the 12th day of the 12th lunar month).
It is now also a place of interest for both local and international visitors.