Do you remember that Carl and I were trying to discover what the four citadel gates were all about? It started with a single question I had. For 12 years I have passed through 2 small gates that have thick earthen walls surrounding them. Every time I would wonder what they were for. The mystery deepened when we discovered 2 more gates and walls with seemingly no roads leading to them, in fact, one of them opened upon a ravine. Hmmmmm…… We did an extensive ride around but were still stumped and for weeks Carl and I were stumped until now. My pal sent me an email that contained the information on this illusive place. I have not been able to find anything on the internet, but somewhere Carl came up with the following:
|Dien Khanh Citadel|
|Dien Khanh Citadel is situated on Dien Khanh Townlet, Dien Khanh District, Khanh Hoa Province.
Characteristic: The Dien Khanh Citadel was built by Nguyen Anh in 1793 with an area of 36,000 square meters according to the Vauban military architecture which was popular in Western Europe in 17th – 18th centuries.The citadel’s wall was in an in equilateral hexagon of 3.5m height. The outer face was vertically constructed while the inner was a little bit sloping by two terraces forming a favorable pavement. Inside the corners, there were large fields which were convenient for military resident. On the top of corners there stood fortresses of 2m high with canons above. On the roof of the citadel, there planted closet bamboo and other barricade trees. Surrounding the citadel were moats of 4 to 5 meters deep, 10 meters wide, flooded by water.At first the citadel had 6 gates but nowadays it remains only 4 ones which are East Gate, West Gate, Front Gate (to the South), Back Gate (to the North). There had been here royal palace, private residents of feudal mandarins, warehouses and jails…Dien Khanh is one of the oldest citadels in the south of Vietnam and it is one of the precious vestiges for studying ancient citadels.
Well there you have it a small piece of history that very few people know about. I have asked local people and family but they were totally unaware of the significance of the gates. I now understand the ravine that I was wondering about… it was a mote. I now have another trip to take there to see if I can reconstruct some of the images in my head of how it would have worked. We tried last time to circle the perimeter, but some very angry dogs made us think differently.
A little about life now. Power has been constant all week. It is a welcome relief to tourists and those of us who need to be cooled during the day. The hotel is busy and filled with very nice people. Things are running smoothly for now.
I just got back from visiting with friends and We have decided that a trip back to the Citadel is in the works for tomorrow. Dogs be damned!! we will make a circle around the wall and discover if there is any trace of the old structures…. Who knows??? we might even have a new adventure to write about.