5 Assembly Halls of Chinese Communities in Hoi An
- on Sep 18, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
Along the Tran Phu and Nguyen Duy Hieu streets in the heart of Hoi An ancient town, you can enjoy fully the beautiful architecture of “Hoi quan” or assembly hall.
The Chinese had made an appearance in Hoi An from a long time before a considerable flow of immigrants in the 17th century. All the Chinese communities like Guangzhou, Fujian, Hainan… had settled down by doing business with the inhabitants upstream of the Thu Bon River and merchants from other countries. Over the centuries, the heritage of northern culture still occupied an important place in local life.
Their presence is well visible in the houses, temples, pagodas and especially the assembly halls which are all the remarkable religious buildings. This meeting place of Chinese communities but also a sacred temple, the “hoi quan” or assembly hall is one of the special places contributing to the outstanding cultural and architectural remains in Hoi An. You can’t miss these halls when visiting Hoi An. Here are five addresses that attract the most visitors in the most charming city in Central Vietnam.
1. Hoi quan Phuc Kien or Fujian Assembly Hall (46 Tran Phu street)
Fujian Assembly Hall, the biggest and most beautiful in the 5 halls, is undoubtedly the most visited. Visitors can admire the architecture typical of Fujian, inspiring by the oriental philosophy of happiness. Built in 1697, originally, it was a temple dedicated to the statue of Thien Hau or the Goddess of the Sea, who was the protector of fishermen and marine traders.
As a sacred place, Hoi quan Phuc Kien has attracted many pilgrims and visitors to pray for health and prosperity.
2. Hoi quan Quang Dong or Cantonese Assembly Hall (176 Tran Phu street)
Also known as Quang Trieu assembly hall, this building is representative of Cantonese culture. It is distinguished by beautiful wood carvings and finely decorated columns formed of a single block of granite. We do not know exactly the date of its construction, but it probably dated back to the year of 1885. Dedicated initially to the worship of the Goddess and Confucius, after 1911, this place had worshiped Quan Cong and ancestors.
Its biggest annual festival, the Tet Nguyen tieu is organized on the day of the full moon of the 1st lunar month and attracts thousands of people. This is an opportunity to celebrate a new year by wishing luck, progress and also is the time of reunion of the Chinese.
3. Hoi quan Ngu Bang or Trung Hoa Assembly Hall (64 Tran Phu street)
Also called Duong Thuong, Hoi quan Ngu Bang or Trung Hoa Assembly Hall was constructed in 1741 and was the oldest. As the name suggests, it had the support from merchants in Fujian, Chaozhou, Guangzhou, Hainan and Hakka. Here, they worshiped their Goddess Thien Hau and also Thien Ly Nhan, Thuan Phong Nhi, the Chinese geniuses.
The place had stood out from other assembly halls in Vietnam because it hosted the meetings of all the Chinese, without distinction of their native region. Despite three centuries past, its original architecture is preserved, a combine of the typical Chinese and traditional elements of Hoi An. Visitors can also find the model of Chinese vintage boats.
4. Hoi quan Hai Nam or Hainan Assembly Hall (10 Tran Phu street)
A religious space of Chinese from Hainan and Hakka, it was previously known as Quynh Phu assembly hall. Founded in 1875, it was used to commemorate 108 Chinese merchants who were executed under the reign of the Nguyen dynasty for being mistaken as pirates.
Located in a large space between Tran Phu Street and Phan Chu Trinh Street, this greatly decorated temple has tall marble columns and a remarkable wooden altar. You will admire an impressive bas-relief that describes the scenes of life in three worlds, Heaven, Earth and Water.
5. Hoi quan Trieu Chau or Chaozhou Assembly hall (157 Nguyen Duy Hieu street)
Built in 1845 by the Chinese Chaozhou, it was the sacred place honoring the geniuses of the sea, which, according to popular belief, brought luck to sea traders. Beautiful wooden sculptures, finely worked earthenware and ceramic reliefs on the beams and the altar make it an exceptional architectural monument of Hoi An.
Every year, the Nguyen tieu festival is held there on the 16th of the First Lunar Month, in tribute to the ancestors, and attracts a large number of participants.
>>Read more: Chaozhou Hall: A place to visit in Hoi An
on 23 Oct, 2019
on 22 Oct, 2019
on 21 Oct, 2019