About 60km from Hanoi, Duong Lam village in Son Tay Town is the first ancient village recognised as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Two of Vietnam’s kings, Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944) were born in Duong Lam, giving the village its prestige. Both men led resistance wars against northern invasion and after winning national independence, were crowned kings. After their deaths, the local people built temples in their honour.
The ancient village has a history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. Laterite is used on house walls, gates, wells, temple walls, and so forth. The mud is taken from ponds. Apart from its historical and tourism values, Duong Lam ancient village is an important place for scientists to study resident communities in ancient agriculture. The village gate, banyan, well, communal house are important factors in classifying Duong Lam ancient village.
The communal house is a worshipping place of the god – founder of the village. The ancient village consists of 5 villages so it has 5 communal houses. Doai Giap and Cam Lam communal houses dedicate to Phung Hung – the national hero who won the victory against invaders under Duong Dynasty; Cam Thinh communal house dedicates both the founder of the village and great mandarin Cao Phuc Dien – the hero under Le Dynasty.
Dong Sang communal house worships the God but it was destroyed by fire and was restored by financial support from people. The god Tan Vien Son was dedicated in Mong Phu communal house. So far, Mong Phu communal house is a gathering place of the villagers for cultural activities. The communal house was made carefully with sophisticated decoration details. It is considered as a flower of unique sculptural architecture.