Work started on reconstruction of Diec Pagoda in Vinh city, central Nghe An province on April 5.

Most Venerable Thich Tho Lac, newly appointed as Head of Diec Pagoda, laid the foundation stone to kick off the restoration work of the Pagoda during a ceremony the same day.

The stone-laying ceremony saw the presence of Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council, representatives from the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and provincial authority, as well as local Buddhist followers.

The pagoda was reconstructed with a total investment of 134 billion VND (6.2 million USD).

Built under the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), Diec Pagoda, or Tung Lam Diec Co Pagoda, was once the cultural centre in the province, comprising a bell tower, a seven-chamber memorial house, a three-entrance gate in line with statues, lakes and wells.

Besides, it used to serve as a base for patriots launching resistance operations against the French under Can Vuong (Royalist) period and a rendezvous for Phan Boi Chau and his comrades in the early 20 th century.

In 1926, the original of “Van Chieu Hon” (Invocation of Souls) poem by celebrated poet Nguyen Du, which has been missing for hundreds of years, was found here.

The 3-hectare religious place was seriously ruined in wars with only the front gate remaining standing today.-VNA