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The Nine Dynastic Urns

The nine dynastic urns (Cuu Dinh) lining up in front of the Temple were cast in 3 years from late 1835 to early 1837 with 20 tons of bronze. These are Cao Dinh in the middle and then Nhan Dinh, Chuong Dinh, Anh Dinh, Nghi Dinh, Thuan Dinh, Tuyen Dinh, Du Dinh, Huyen Dinh on the right and left. These names are also the holy names of successive decreased Emperor who are worshipped in The Temple. The value of the nine urns lies firstly in their huge sizes and secondly the sophisticated bronze casting skill. The highest urn is over 2.5m; the shortest is over 2.3m. The body circumference is from 4.64m to 4.75m. The heaviest one is over 2,061kg, the lightest is 1,935kg. It is considered to be an outstanding achievement of 19th century bronze casting.        

They symbolize the desire perpetuation of the Nguyen dynasty as well as beauty and wealth of the country. Each urn has 17 details of decoration in its body and the total details on these urns are 153 details. The ways of the decoration on these urns are different but share the same themes about heaven, sea, mountain, river, bird, fish, flower, fruit, grass, plant, tree, and weapons. It can be said that the nine dynastic urns look like an encyclopedia summarizing the country and people of Vietnam.

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