Posted on 10/22/2008

Photo taken on March 20, 2003

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Vietnam Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh
Hà Nội,
Việt Nam

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The One Pillar Pagoda

The One Pillar Pagoda
Sandwiched between the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Ho Chi Minh Museum is the small yet elegant One Pillar Pagoda. The Pagoda was originally built by Emperor Ly Thai Thong around 1049. It was destroyed by the French just before they quit Hanoi in 1954. The structure you can see today is a reconstruction.
The legend goes that the Emperor built the pagoda in gratitude to the Goddess of Mercy after he had a dream of her seated on a lotus and presenting him with a baby boy. The once childless Emperor met and married a peasant girl who bore him a son soon after. Hence the pagoda is built in the shape of a lotus flower.
The wooden pagoda sits on a single stone pillar that rises out of a pond, symbolizing a sea of sorrow. Inside the pagoda, a gilded statue of the Goddess sits on an alter surrounded by flowers and offerings.