Bat Trang Ceramic Village
On the left bank of Hong river and about 10 km from Hanoi in East (in Gia Lam District, Hanoi), there situated a pottery village, which is the most famous and long-standing pottery village in Vietnam for its name of Bat Trang. Up to present, Ba Trang Pottery Village has still been operating and developing ceaselessly. According to a legend, the village was first called as Bach Tho Phuong before its name was changed into Bat Trang Phuong. People in the village remember in their memory that the place of their origin Bo Bat Village (or called Bach Bat Village), Yen Mo District, Ninh Binh Province.
People cannot help talking about Bat Trang, when they discuss about pottery of Vietnam. According to some archaeological documents, plenty of pottery items has been discovered at many old relics and monuments built in Ly Dynasty. Sir Nguyen Trai, a great politician, strategist, diplomat and poet, wrote in his Du Dia Chi Book at the beginning of Le Dynasty that Bat Trang used to provide 70 sets of bowls and plates as tribute paid for China. This fact proves that pottery items were very sophisticated in the past. At present, pagodas and temples in Vietnam still have carefully-carved incense burners and lamp stands, which were made in the 16th century (for example Boi Khe Pagoda in Ha Tay Province).
Besides, some materials indicate that Bat Trang pottery items appeared in 16th and 17th centuries. Based ourselves on that information, we estimate that Bat Trang Pottery Village was founded as a handicraft village at the edge of Thang Long City more than 500 years ago. Bat Trang pottery items have been circulated nationwide as well as in many foreigna countries. Of which, the most precious pottery items, which have been famous in Vietnam and in the world, are pottery items with gem enamel (in Ly and Tran Dynasties), pottery items with brown enamel (by the end of Tran Dynasty and at the beginning of Le Dynasty), pottery items with crazed enamel (in Le-Trinh Dynasty) and pottery items with deep blue flowered enamel (by the end of Le Dynasty and at the beginning of Nguyen Dynasty). In the past centuries, Bat Trang pottery items were considered as high-ranking, precious and rare ones. In order to satisfy the demand of the market, Bat Trang Pottery Village makes many family use items from baked clay. Besides, plenty of pottery items with various kinds and designs make us admire the skill of craftsmen in Bat Trang Pottery Village, where there are people who make soil and fire change into gem enamel for life.