The national name is the official name used in diplomatic, legal, and commercial relations denoting the legitimacy of a kingdom or government of each nation. Additionally, the national name shows the nationality, territorial sovereignty. and political regime of a nation to the international arena. Along with the national name, the capital city is always highly valued by the state.
Over thousands of years, Viet Nam has had many different national names during different historical periods. The setting of the national name of feudal dynasties showed national self-respect with the names like Dai Co Viet, Dai Viet, Dai Nam, and Viet Nam. The selection of lands to set up the capital was also particularly valued because the capital played a role as a political, military, economic, and cultural center of a country in each particular historical period. Inheriting the national tradition, after successfully implementing the August Revolution and fighting to unify the country, Viet Nam took the title of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and set up the capital in Hanoi the Capital with a thousand years of civilization.
The VNMH cooperates with the Department of State Records Management and Archives - Ministry of Home Affairs, Thang Long Heritage Conservation Center - Hanoi, Hanoi Museum, Ninh Binh Provincial Museum, Thanh Hoa Provincial Museum, Conservation Center for Ho Citadel to organize a special exhibition: “Dai Viet’s Nations and Capital Cities through the Ages”. Through Nguyen Dynasty woodblocks - the World Heritage Document and artifacts and architectural vestiges which are the results of excavation and archaeological studies of ancient Viet Namese capitals, this exhibition would brings historical documents and evidence to both domestic and international visitors to express the aspirations and will of independence, the spirit of self-respect, and pride of the nation of Viet Namese predecessors.
This special exhibition, “Dai Viet’s Nations and Capital Cities through the Ages”, introduces the following main contents:
1. National name of Van Lang, Au Lac. and the first period of national construction.
2. Period of independent feudal monarchy
2.1. National name of Dai Co Viet and the capital of Hoa Lu under Dinh and Early Le dynasties, the beginning of Ly Dynasty.
2.2. National name of Dai Viet and Thang Long capital under the Ly and Tran dynasties.
2.3. National name of Dai Ngu (the word "Ngu" means joyfulness) with the capital of An Ton under the Ho dynasty.
2.4. National name of Dai Viet and the capital of Dong Kinh under the reigns of Later Le dynasty, Mac dynasty, and the Later Le restoration.
2.5. National name of Dai Viet and the capital of Phu Xuan under the Tay Son Dynasty.
2.6. National name of Viet Nam, Dai Nam and the capital of Hue under the Nguyen dynasty.
3. After Revolution of August 1945 up to now.
3.1. Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and Hanoi Capital.
3.2. the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Hanoi Capital.
Some artifacts that are introduced in this special exhibition: “Dai Viet’s Nations and Capital Cities through the Ages”:
Arrow mold, stones, 2,500 - 2,000 years ago.Excavated in Co Loa citadel, Dong Anh, Hanoi (Thang Long Heritage Conservation Center - Hanoi)
Dragon head. Terracotta, 10th – 11th centuries. Architectural decoration found in Hoa Lu ancient capital, Ninh Binh. (Ninh Binh Provincial Museum)
Column carved Buddha Dingsheng Daloni built by Dinh Lien in 973, found in Hoa Lu ancient capital, Ninh Binh. (Ninh Binh Provincial Museum)
Bodhi Leaf shaped dragon, ceramic white glaze. 11th – 13th centuries. Architectural decoration found in the area of Thang Long Citadel, Hanoi. (Viet Nam National Museum of History)
Phoenix head, terracotta. 11th – 13th centuries. Architectural decoration
Found in the area of Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Hanoi. (Thang Long Heritage Center - Hanoi)
Roof-top decoration with dragon inside bodhi leaf, terra cotta. 14th – 15th centuries. Architectural decoration
Excavated at the site of Nam Giao Imperial Altar, Vinh Loc, Thanh Hoa
(Conservation Center for Ho Citadel)
The yá zì 睚眦, (Hybrid of wolf and dragon), terra cotta. Decorative materials on roofs of architecture buildings
Excavated at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Hanoi
(Thang Long Heritage Center - Hanoi)
National treasures: Canh Thinh bronze drum. Tay Son dynasty,
the 8th Canh Thinh, 1800 (Viet Nam National Museum of History)
National treasures: The "Dai Nam Thu thien vinh menh truyen quoc ty" seal. Gem.
The 7th Thieu Tri (1847) (Viet Nam National History Museum)
Dragon statue. Gold, wood. The 2nd Thieu Tri (1842)
Collection of artifacts of the Nguyen Dynasty (Viet Nam National Museum of History)
This Special Exhibition, “Dai Viet’s Nations and Capital Cities through the Ages”, opened on June 20, 2019 at VNMH, No.1, Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi