The ancient Pho Hien Street in the Red River Delta’s Hung Yen province was awarded a certificate of special national heritage site on April 26.

The ceremony, which was joined by State President Truong Tan Sang, was held to coincidence with the opening of the traditional Pho Hien festival.

The Pho Hien relic complex lies in the villages of Dang Chau and Ne Chau. It contains countless pagodas and temples. The site was also once a bustling commercial port on the Red River, reaching its heyday in the 17th - 18th century.

Pho Hien was second only to the Imperial capital city of Thang Long as a trading point. It was well-known among foreign traders, especially those from China, Japan and the Netherlands.

The annual Pho Hien Cultural Festival takes place across all the area’s relic sites. It features traditional rituals, games and art performances, bringing alive the history, spirituality and culture of the street.

Addressing the opening event, Vice Chairman of the Hung Yen People’s Committee Dang Ngoc Quynh highlighted the cultural and traditional diversity of the province, saying that it houses more than 1,200 relic sites and more than 400 local traditional festivals.

The locality is also home to a number of national heroes and cultural celebrities, such as King Trieu Viet Vuong, who reigned from 548-571; Pham Ngu Lao, a general in the Tran dynasty in the 14 th century; Hoang Hoa Tham, who led the Yen The rebellion against France in between 1884-1913; and late General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Linh, who initiated the nation’s successful reform period.

During the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien hailed the significance of the Pho Hien relic complex, saying that it is both an important cultural landmark and an attractive tourism destination.

She urged the province to expand publicity campaigns enhancing preservation work to protect the ancient street, upholding traditional values and promoting tourism.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Doan The Cuong said the region aims to lure investment to fully tap the local potential for socio-economic and tourism development in the Northern Region economic triangle.-VNA