Hien Luong Bridge – a symbol of the everlasting desire for peace

Hien Luong Bridge is a bridge that spans the Ben Hai River in the Vinh Linh District of Quang Tri Province on Vietnam’s North Central Coast. It will always be a symbol of Viet Nam’s eternal desire for peace, national independence, and reunification.

Hien-Luong-Bridge---Ben-Hai-River-nowadays

History of Hien Luong Bridge

Hien Luong Bridge was built in 1928 by residents of Vinh Linh District. Back then, it was only 2m wide, made of wood with iron poles, and could only accommodate pedestrians.

In 1950, France constructed a concrete bridge 162 meters long and 3.6 meters wide that could withstand a weight of 10 tons for military purposes.

History-of-Hien-Luong-Bridge

Then again, in May 1952, the French rebuilt a new bridge between Vinh Linh and Gio Linh districts, connecting the two banks of the Ben Hai River. The bridge has 7 spans, a length of 178 meters, reinforced concrete pillars, steel beams, and a pine-paved surface. It is 4m wide and has a 1.2m high wall on both sides.

Hien Luong Bridge – The “historical witnesses”

During the Second Indochina War (1955-1975), Hien Luong Bridge and the Ben Hai River have been the “historical witnesses” of the country’s division into North and South. Following the failure at Dien Bien Phu War, the Geneva Agreement was signed in 1954. According to the agreement, Vietnam was temporarily divided into two regions with the 17th Parallel (where Ben Hai river running through Do Linh and Vinh Linh) as a borderline.

hien-luong-bridge---ben-hai-river

Hien Luong Bridge is divided into two parts, each of which is 89 meters long and painted in a different color. The temporary divide was supposed to last for 2 years and terminate after the unification general election, but it ended up lasting more than 2 decades.

hien-luong-bridge,-vietnam

In 1956, Ngo Dinh Diem, President of the Republic of Vietnam, did not hold a unified general election as required by the Geneva Agreement, with US encouragement. From that, Hien Luong Bridge has been a historical relic for more than 20 years carrying the pain of dividing the country.

What is there to see at Hien Luong Bridge – Ben Hai River nowadays?

hien-luong-bridge-nowsaday

In 1986, the Hien Luong relic cluster was declared as the national historic site.

On the southern bank, there is the monument of “Desire for a Unified Country” with the image of young mother and her son are waiting for her husband and other loved ones to arrive home.

Desire for a Unified Country

During the Vietnam War, the authorities utilized loudspeakers on the northern bank to deliver messages and play music for people on the southern bank.

Loudspeakers-on-the-northern-bank

On the northern bank, there is the Desire for Unification Exhibition Hall. It contains various historical photos and artifacts related to the Hien Luong Bridge and the Ben Hai River between 1954 and 1975, when the Vietnam War ended.

The-Desire-for-Unification-Exhibition-Hall

In addition, on the northern bank, there is a flagpole.

flagpole-in-hien-luong-bridge

A wax sculpture depicting a woman stitching the Hien Luong flag. Between 1957 and 1962, a 9×12 m flag was hung on the northern bank of the Ben Hai River.

a-woman-stitching-a-Hien-Luong-flag

At the foot of the flagpole, a pottery mural depicts numerous events from the war as well as the people’s determination to bring the country together.

A-pottery-mural-in-hien-luong-bridge

If you want to visit this site, you ‘ll need to pay 40,000 VND 2$ for admission ticket to the Hien Luong relic (for adults).

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