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Solemn 500-year-old stone tower to worship an official of Le Dynasty

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

January 18, 2021 | 08:20

The solemn Am Thap (The tower of Am) was built to worship Le Am, a distinguished official in Le Dynasty.

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Am Thap, also known as Cam Due Tower, was built in the 16th century on an area of over 2,000 square meters in Quang Trung village, Cam Due commune, Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh province. The tower complex also includes a shrine, elephant statue,... The work is ranked as a national architectural monument in 2006. Am Thap worships Le Am, a Le Dynasty official. He was granted the privilege by King Le Loi to choose the good land to bury his body after death. After his death, the king granted him the title of "God of the Citadel of Phuong Cai Village". (Photo: VN Express)
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The top of the tower is made of a monolith. The body of the tower Viewed from above, the tower looks like a miniature pyramid. (Photo: VN Express)
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The tower has a square structure, over 3m high, includes 3 floors (excluding the base and feet). In front of the tower lies a censer. (Photo: VN Express)
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The tower has 5 doors, in which three doors are located in the front direction from the first floor to the third floor, the rest are designed on the sides of the second floor. Above the doorway facing the main direction on the second floor, there are 5 ancient Chinese characters to praise the diligence. The inscription on the 3rd floor is the moon and sun to praise the work of the ancients. (Photo: VN Express)
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On the second floor of the tower, there are also 2 stone statues. (Photo: VN Express)
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Some parts of the tower are covered with moss. (Photo: VN Express)
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Since its construction, the tower has undergone a big restoration in 2009 - 2011. The authorities have renewed the shrine, built a three-door gate, and surrounded by a brick wall system. (Photo: VN Express)
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The three-door system of three gates was newly built in 2011. Above the roof of the gate is designed in the shape of a dragon and a phoenix with stylized patterns. (Photo: VN Express)
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In front of the entrance to the tower, there are two pairs of stone horses and elephants facing each other. (Photo: VN Express)
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Inside the shrine, there is an altar and a censer for visitors to pay tribute to Mr. Le Am. (Photo: VN Express)
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Behind the shrine is the entrance to the stone tower with two doors made of plank wood. (Photo: VN Express)
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Currently, Duong Van Long's family, 32 years old, residing in Cam Due Commune, Cam Xuyen District, Ha Tinh Province is appointed by the local authority to look after the tower. Every other day, Mr. Long and his relatives go by to clean around the tower complex. When there are tourists visiting, he guides them where to burn incense and introduces them the history of the tower. Every year, Am Thap welcomes thousands of tourists to sightsee, and pay respect to Le Am, as well as study the historical values of architecture here. (Photo: VN Express)
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Valerie Mai