Hà Nội is a sacred land of Việt Nam. In the 3rd century BC, Cổ Loa (actually belonging to Đông Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Âu Lạc Nation of Thục An Dương Vương (the King Thục). Hà Nội later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions.
Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populous and rich residential center. At different periods, Hà Nội had been selected as the capital city of Việt Nam under the Northern domination. In the autumn of Canh Tuất lunar years (1010), Lý Thái Tổ, the founder of the Lý Dynasty (1010-1225), decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lư to Đại La, and so he re-capitalized it Thăng Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became a historical date for Hà Nội and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thăng Long, then changing to Đông Đô, Đông Kinh, and finally to Hà Nội, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theater of many fateful events.
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Hà Nội still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Hà Nội Citadel, Hà Nội Opera House, President Hồ Chí Minh’s Mausoleum, and so on.
Hà Nội also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoàn Kiếm Lake, West Lake, and Trúc Bạch Lake, which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.
Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Hà Nội including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Hà Nội has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bát Tràng pottery village, Ngũ Xã bronze casting village, Yên Thái glossy silk village.