The Hidden Citadel

Entrance at 19 Hoang Dieu, just behind the Army Museum (not yet in Lonely planet…)

Recently opened for Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary, the area has served as the capital and centre of power on and off for the last thousand years. The Citadel was Hanoi’s equivalent to the forbidden city in Beijing. In the 1880s the French razed most buildings and made it their military headquarters. The main gate, primarily from the 16th century, still exists and even earlier remains are being excavated across the road. Ho Chi Minh and General Giap then based their headquarters here during the American War and built a nuclear proof bunker.

The citadel is a very peaceful place to wander around popping into exhibitions in the old french barracks. The guards don’t seem to object to the Nubian Hound’s frequent visits.

An aerial view of Lenin Square, the flag tower, and the citadel to the North (early 20th century)
View south towards the flag tower
Tala admiring the view

The Citadel and the Old Quarter
Looking towards the war rooms
Map of the planned assault on Saigon
The bunker

Tala on a very sunny day at the Citadel