Hà Nội

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Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Nội) is the capital city of Vietnam.


The region around present-day Hanoi was settled in prehistoric times. During its long history, the city occasionally was renamed for periods of time, and one of these names, Dong Kinh, given to it during the Later Le dynasty (1428–1787), became corrupted by Europeans to Tonquin. During the French colonial period (1883–1945) the name Tonkin was used to refer to the entire region. In 1831 the city was renamed Ha Noi (“Between Two Rivers”) by the Nguyen dynasty.

Under French rule, Hanoi again became an important administrative centre. In 1902 it was made the capital of French Indochina. This was largely because of Tonkin’s proximity to southern China, where the French sought to expand their influence, and because of Tonkin’s mineral resources. Hanoi remained the administrative centre during the Japanese occupation (1940–45) of the territory.[1]

In August 1945, following the Japanese surrender, the Viet Minh under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh seized power in Hanoi, and the city was established as the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. On September 2, 1945, at Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, President Ho Chi Minh read the "Declaration of Independence", giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.[2]

The French, however, reasserted their control over Hanoi from 1946 until their defeat at Dien Bien Phu on May 7, 1954. Shortly thereafter Hanoi became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).

During the Vietnam War, the bombing of Hanoi by the United States in 1965, 1968, and 1972 caused massive damage. Following the collapse of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, North Vietnam extended its control over all of Vietnam. On July 2, 1976, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed, and Hanoi was established as its capital.[1]