The relic brick gate and encroaching buildings around it (Photo: VNA)

Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) - Cultural authorities of Thua Thien- Hue and Da Nang are establishing landmarks around Hai Van Quan, a relic lying on the border separating the two localities.

This is the first part of a joint action plan that Thua Thien-Hue’s and Da Nang’s departments of culture and sports have committed to in order to protect the historic brick Hai Van Quan gate from deterioration and human encroachment.

Representatives of the departments of culture and sports have recently met on the peak of Hai Van Pass, where the gate sits. They discussed and agreed on urgent works that could protect the gate from ruin, signs of which began to appear some 30 years ago.

Following the erection of landmarks to help visitors recognise the heritage site, the departments will destroy works that have no cultural links to the gate to ensure the authenticity of the building, including the concrete blockhouses, newly-built watch towers and home foundations built by vendors.

They will also erect signboards in both Vietnamese and English languages to introduce the history of the gate and guide visitors.

Clean toilets will be built. The departments also have plan to work with the departments of natural resources and the environment and local authorities of Phu Loc district in Thua Thien- Hue province and Lien Chieu district in Da Nang city for land and vendor management.

Particularly, the natural resources departments must identify the area designated for forestry and farming to prevent plantation activities from encroaching heritage land. Meanwhile, local district authorities will categorize local households according to their trading needs so that culture departments can arrange them in an orderly trading zone near the relic gate.

According to Da Nang culture department’s director Huynh Van Hung, the departments had awaited a joint action plan long before Hai Van Quan was recognised as a national heritage site in April. Both Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang want to work on conserving the building, but it was difficult because it sat on the border between the cities, he said.

However, the heritage recognition has helped foster joint preservation work, Hung added.

Hai Van is a mountain cliff clinging from the Truong Son Range and pointing to the sea. On its peak, a king of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) built the giant brick gate in 1826 to mark the border of the former Hue imperial capital’s land and name it Hai Van Quan.

Today it is a popular tourism site thanks to the picturesque scene, with views 490m above sea level and a fresh cool breeze.

For decades, the brick gate was left in ruin, due to conflicts between the two localities over benefits and responsibilities. According to Phan Tien Dung, director of Thua Thien- Hue’s culture department, he initiated a programme to preserve the historic building 20 years ago, but it failed to get permit from the localities.-VNA