Staying on the bank of Thach Han river, Quang Tri Citadel is known for 81 fighting days during Vietnam War. It was seen as a big cemetery who watched the fierce war of Vietnam and the place of hundreds of unknown troops died for the peace of country.
Quang Tri Citadel during Nguyen Dynasty
During Nguyen Dynasty, Gia Long and Minh Mang King built the citadel for keeping them safe from 1809 to 1837. The original citadel was made from soil with a surrounded system of channels. The citadel has the square form with four gates face to four directions.
The system of cannels surround the citadel
For hundred years, Quang Tri Citadel was considered as the strategic place for military and authority in the district and province. It was chosen as an important citadel of French. The French constructed a system of jails to keep inside the dissidents in Quang Tri. The Quang Tri jails was the center of protest because many people has loved to the country and ready to fight against the French. It was also the birth place of the first communist troops and many leaders of protests in Quang Tri.
The jails were built during French colony
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The strategic attack on 1972 was the most memorable contest in Vietnam. On 3rd March 1972, 304 and 308 divisions, with support of tanks and artilleries, went to Quang Tri from the South. From the West, another division passed Thach Han river and suddenly attacked and occupied the citadel. Losing Quang Tri, the American troops open the counter-attack to recapture the citadel with support of US missile fleet, a series of B52 bombers and a huge mass bombing campaign. During 81 days, Quang Tri Citadel suffered 328, 000 tons of bombs, each Vietnamese troop suffer 100 tons of bombs and 200 artillery shells equal to 7 atomic bombs that American through to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Thousands of Vietnamese troops died during the attack that they cant confirm their names.
The memorial status in recent citadel
To respect the sacrifice of the Vietnamese troops, nowadays, Quang Tri Citadel has a memorial status modeled as a common grave. The common grave is designed with the concept of yin and yang in Chinese with the meaning to soul salvation of the dead. Between the parts of yin and yang there is a place of censer for people to burn the incense with the hope of praying to the soul of the troops who sacrificed during the war.