Tam Tao Communal House – A Historical & Cultural Identity of Kinh Bac

Tam Tao Communal House is a typical religious and cultural identity of Bac Ninh province (formerly known as Kinh Bac). Recognized as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 1988, this cultural site is attracting more and more visitors to sightsee and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere nowadays.

Location of Tam Tao Communal House

Tam Tao Communal House is located in Tam Tao Village, Phu Lam Commune, Tien Du District, Bac Ninh Province. This is a time-honored village showcasing the distinctive cultural and religious heritage of the Kinh Bac region (a former appellation for a vast area in northern Vietnam, encompassing Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces).

Situated in proximity to the Ngu Huyen Khe River, the village comprises eight hamlets. Within its boundaries stand three religious architectural marvels deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture: the Tam Tao communal house, the Phu Quoc temple, and the Phuc Lam pagoda. Notably, the Tam Tao Communal House serves as a remarkable testament to the cultural and historical richness of the Kinh Bac region.

The History of Tam Tao Communal House

The construction of the Tam Tao communal house dates back to the Le Dynasty, and in 1815, it underwent extensive restoration and renovation.

This sacred place of worship is dedicated to the village’s patron deity, as well as two valiant warriors named Dao Dat and Dao Minh, who earned great merit during the reign of Thuc An Duong Vuong. Additionally, it honors the revered couple, Tran Quy and Phuong Dung, who provided crucial assistance to King Ly Cong Uan in times of distress.

Legend has it that around two centuries ago, the villagers embarked on a journey to Thang Long citadel to procure wood to construct their communal house. Remarkably, they allowed the wood to drift downstream on the Duong River. However, the wood encountered an obstacle when it reached Xuan Duc village (now Yen Thuong commune, Gia Lam district), and it became immobile.

As night fell, the villagers of Tam Tao sought shelter in Xuan Duc village. To their surprise, the following morning revealed that the wooden raft had been relocated to the opposite bank of the river. It transpired that the compassionate villagers of Xuan Duc had collaborated to assist in moving the wood.

Upon completing the construction of their cherished communal house, representatives from Tam Tao village expressed gratitude to the residents of Xuan Duc and proposed twinning the two villages. Ever since, on occasions of significance, the two communities have extended invitations to one another, fostering a harmonious and cooperative relationship.

Preserving its historical legacy, the communal house currently houses 26 ordinations from the Le Dynasty and eight from the Nguyen Dynasty, along with numerous invaluable documents and artifacts. Recognizing its significance, the Tam Tao communal house was bestowed with the distinction of being a national historical and cultural relic in 1988.

Communal House’s Special Architecture

Sitting upon a foundation shaped like a majestic turtle, Tam Tao communal house graces the outskirts of the village, boasting a spacious and breezy courtyard. Standing proudly before it is a pavilion that once served as a gathering place for local officials to witness stunning water puppet performances and discuss matters of great importance to the village.

Architecture of Tam Tao Communal House

The architecture of Tam Tao Communal House

Exhibiting prominent architectural features of the Le Dynasty, the communal house comprises various sections, namely the Tien Te (courthouse), the Dai Dinh (ceremonial hall), the harem house, and the pavilion. Of particular note, the Dai Dinh mesmerizes with its seven compartments and eight gracefully adorned roofs, each crowned with meticulously crafted representations of sacred mythical creatures – the dragon, the unicorn, the tortoise, and the phoenix.

Stepping inside, visitors are greeted by intricate carvings that depict pine trees, daisies, ivory bamboo, and yellow apricot trees, symbolizing the changing seasons. Vivid depictions of stylized clouds and blossoms, steeped in folk beliefs, further adorn the interior.

The Courthouse, mirroring the design and carvings of the Dai Dinh structure, comprises five compartments, two wings, and four elegantly curved roofs.

Tam Tao Village Festival

Tam Tao Festival

Tam Tao Festival

Annually, on the 10th day of the 2nd lunar month, the inhabitants and officials of Tam Tao village partake in a vibrant festival, honoring the noble contributions of their tutelary deities while beseeching for favorable weather and national harmony. Drawing crowds of thousands, the communal house becomes a hub of cultural exploration, where visitors immerse themselves in the local customs and traditions. This cherished occasion serves as a gateway to understanding the rich heritage of the village, fostering a deep appreciation for its unique culture.

Thanks to the premium location, it is easy to visit Tam Tao communal house within a day tour from Hanoi. More than that, you can combine it with visiting nearby attractions such as Phat Tich Pagoda, Do Temple, Dinh Bang communal house, etc. Get in touch now to plan a perfect Bac Ninh tour from Hanoi.

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Alice Pham

Hello, I'm Alice Pham - a travel blogger at IDC Travel. I have traveled to almost places in Vietnam and gained numerous useful experiences. I'm here willing to help you plan the most wonderful trip to our stunning S-shaped country.

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