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May 22nd
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Ancient wells, tangible heritage in Hoi An

Ancient wells, tangible heritage in Hoi An

The Hoi An Center for Monuments Management and Preservation has completed a survey and announced a list of 80 ancient wells in Hoi An, the ancient town bathed in the glistening lights of colored lanterns and surrounded by ancient heritages in the central province of Quang Nam. The authorities then initiated plans to preserve the relics that are hundreds of years old and a part of the spiritual life of Hoi An residents.

Among them, Ba Le Well is one of the most famous ancient wells of the Cham people in Hoi An. It was dug around the 10th century and its mouth is square. As are other wells in town, Ba Le Well is clear and sweet and does not run dry even in the harsh dry season.

Ancient wells are regarded as a link between Vietnamese and Cham people. They often have round tops and square bottoms, a design regarded by researchers as a Cham invention predating the 15th century. In general, all wells are made of bricks at the top and have square wood frames at the bottom. The frames are designed to make the wells stable and durable and to prevent their collapse. Bricks are stacked without using cement to allow leaks so that underground water can flow in and maintain water levels, said Nguyen Chi Trung, director of the Hoi An Center for Monuments Management and Preservation. He added that ancient wells were part of a tangible heritage and should be preserved as other relics.

By Truong Chi in Hoi An 

 
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