Ba Dinh Square’s historical milestones

(VOV) - Ba Dinh Square in Ba Dinh district, the site where President Ho Chi Minh on September 2, 1945 proclaimed the Declaration of Independence giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam – the first Southeast Asian democratic state – is the leading historical site of the capital city.

Located to the west of Hanoi's old city gates, until the early 20th century, Ba Dinh Square was a space with abandoned grounds, and newly-levelled ponds. The French had built a garden here named Puginier Round Point, also known as Round Square or Puginier flower garden (Puginier was the name of a priest).

Some office buildings and villas surrounded the Puginier flower garden. One of the earliest constructed buildings was the Governor's Palace, built in 1902, which later was renamed the Presidential Palace. Other important projects constructed, included the Albert Sarraut school in 1919 and Party Central Committee agencies and the Department of Finance in 1925 (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters).

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 0

Ba Dinh Square during the French colonial period.

After the successful August Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, at Ba Dinh Square. That speech made headlines around the world. However, the square was not named Ba Dinh Square on September 2 1945. The name “Ba Dinh flower garden” was actually named in lieu of the old name “Rond Point Puginier” by doctor Tran Van Lai who was Hanoi Mayor under the then Tran Trong Kim Administration.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 1

Ba Dinh Square viewed from Independence road.

Just in a short term from July 20 to August 19, 1945 when the administration belonged to the people's hands, Mayor Tran Van Lai renamed a lot of places and streets of Hanoi from French names to the names of national heroes and celebrities. The name “Ba Dinh” was given to commemorate the uprising against France of Dinh Cong Trang insurgents in Ba Dinh area of Nga Son district, Thanh Hoa province (1886-1887). Many venue choices were made for a grand meeting on September 2, 1945 but finally Ba Dinh garden was selected, becoming Ba Dinh Square now.

Ba Dinh Square was later called Independence Square. While France temporarily occupied Hanoi (1947-1954), the French Governor’s Palace was renamed Hong Bang Garden. In 1954, the Vietnamese army took over the capital and the name Ba Dinh Square was restored. In the proximity of the square, the Governor’s Palace became the Presidential Palace.

Afterwards, there were many opinions on renaming Ba Dinh Square to Independence Square or September 2 Square to show closer links to the event on the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. But President Ho Chi Minh City kept the name “Ba Dinh” because of its historical and universal significance.

After 1954, a series of additional projects were built around Ba Dinh Square, featuring old colonial architectures. They included Ba Dinh Hall (completed in 1963), Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (1975), Ho Chi Minh Museum (1990), Monument to heroic martyrs (1994). Additionally, Ba Dinh Square’s architectural complex also had a number of smaller projects such as One Pillar Pagoda and Uncle Ho's stilt house area in the Presidential Palace.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 2

President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh Square
on September 2, 1945.

Ba Dinh Square witnessed the nation’s historical events associated with Autumn: Autumn of the 1945 Revolution, Autumn back to Hanoi in 1954; and 1969 Autumn at Ba Dinh Hall where the Vietnamese people and international friends mourned over the passing of late President Ho Chi Minh. Ba Dinh became a sacred land imprinted with unforgettable historical and spiritual architectures like Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Monument to the Fallen Soldiers and Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

Until now, Ba Dinh Square remains a political and cultural centre witnessing major national events. It is seen as the best place in Hanoi in terms of good landscape planning and architectural complex.

Some photos of Ba Dinh Square today:

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 3

Ba Dinh Square viewed from Hoang Van Thu street.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 4
Saluting ceremony at Ba Dinh Square (taking place at 6am daily).
ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 5
Delegations visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 6

. Governor’s Palace work, now the Presidential Palace, built in 1902.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 7

Albert Sarraut school work beside Hoang Van Thu street, the Party Central Committee building
 built in 1919.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 8

Finance Department work, now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters built in 1925.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 9

Bamboo trees at the HCM Mausoleum. 

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 10
Changing the guard by soldiers from the HCM Mausoleum Command.
ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 11

Ba Dinh Hall work completed in 1963.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 12

The flag pole at Ba Dinh Square.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 13

Ba Dinh Square in the afternoon sunlight.

ba dinh square’s historical milestones hinh 14

Flag lowering ceremony takes place at 9 pm daily