This communal house is located in Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province. Its name somewhat indicates the origin of the village: Tho means land, Ha means river…
This communal house is located in Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province. Its name somewhat indicates the origin of the village: Tho means land, Ha means river. This means that human settlements came into being on a land silted up by a river.
Since ancient times, the Tho Ha communal house was rated as one of the most beautiful cultural sights, and also one of the oldest communal houses in the Kinh Bac region. Indeed, it was built nearly five centuries ago. Some researchers assert 1566-1577 as the date of its construction, but 1686, that is the seventh year of Chinh Hoa reign seems to be more plausible.
The communal house is located on a 3000m area, facing the south- west. Its location is regarded as propitious because there is a river on its front (thuy nhieu), and another one at its back (thoai thuy).
The house is dedicated to the cult of the village tutelary God and to Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism. It has 3 components: the Anteroom, the Hall of Ceremonies and the Inner Room, whose disposition evokes the Chinese letter “cong”. In front of the Anteroom is a large courtyard, with left and right wings. Outside is Nghi Mon, the gate with two big pillars.
Viewed from outside, this communal house has a large, slightly-sloping down roof covered with old-style tiles (mui hai). It is the centre of the cultural life of the commune.