Hoan Kiem Lake
(, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword"
or "Lake of the Restored Sword"
, also known as Hồ Gươm
- Sword Lake
) is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi
, the capital city of Vietnam
. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.
According to the legend, emperor Lê Lợi
<!--Approximately which year did this happen?--> handed a magic sword called Heaven's Will
which brought him victory in his revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty
back to the Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui
) in the lake and hence gaveit its present name (the lake was formerly known as Luc Thuy
meaning "Green Water"). The Tortoise Tower (Thap Rùa
) standing on a small island near the centre of lake is linked to the legend.
Large soft-shell turtles, either of the species Rafetus swinhoei
or a separate species named Rafetus leloii
in honor of the emperor, have been sighted in the lake. The species is critically endangered and the number of individuals in the lake is unclear.
Near the northern shore of the lake lies Jade Island on which the Temple of the Jade Mountain
(Ngoc Son Temple
) stands. The temple was erected in the 18th century. It honors the 13-century military leader Tran Hung Dao
who distinguished himself in the fight against the Yuan Dynasty
, Van Xuong, a scholar, and Nguyen Van Sieu, a Confucian
master and famous writer in charge of repairs made to the temple in 1864. Jade Island is... Read More