The temple of Lê Đại Hành is 200m north of the temple of Đinh Tiên Hoàng, and has Den Mountain as a backdrop. Lê Hoàn occupied the highest military post in the administration of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh. When Bộ Lĩnh was assassinated in 979, his six-year-old son Đinh Toàn took the throne, and Lê Hoàn served as his regent. Suspecting that Lê Hoàn was secretly planning to take over the country himself, other leading men went into rebellion. The ensuing disorder raised eyebrows at the court of the Chinese Song Dynasty, which had been seeking an opportunity to reassert dominion over Vietnam following the eviction of Chinese forces by Ngô Quyền in 938. Lê Hoàn defeated his rivals, and with a Chinese invasion impending, obtained support for his takeover, declaring himself emperor and founding the Lê Dynasty. He also married Đinh Tiên Hoàng’s widow Dương Vân Nga, the mother of the deposed child king Đinh Toàn. In 982, his forces defeated and repelled two Chinese armies, thus ensuring the country’s ongoing independence. Following his death in 1005, Lê Hoàn came to be known by the posthumous name “Lê Đại Hành”. His sons fought over the succession, and order was not restored until Lý Công Uẩn took over the country in 1010 and declared the Lý Dynasty.
The architecture, art, and devotional statues of the temple to Lê Đại Hành are similar to those of the temple of Đinh Tiên Hoàng. The temple still retains its original architectural beauty. The constructions does not have stone-doorsteps and stones for propping the pillar as Emperor Đinh Tiên Hoàng’s Temple. Hence, we can contemplate the temple with adequate example of the architecture and sculpture of Post-Lê Dynasty period.
The “Chinh Cung” part of Emperor Lê Đại Hành Temple comprises five structural chambers. The middle chamber has statue of Emperor Lê Đại Hành sitting on his throne and wearing a Binh Thien Hat; his face is hearty. The statue is placed on a pedestal. To its left is a statue of Empress Dương Vân Nga, who was a wife, first of Đinh Tiên Hoàng, and later of Lê Đại Hành. The statue of Empress Dương Vân Nga has a plump and charming face, ruddy skin, and many features of contemporary Viet women in those time. Her outer robe is sculpted with supple creases, loosened so as to reveal the inside of the blouse with its special patterns. Her statue displays feminine virtues and youthful qualities that reflects an image of an enthusiastic, talented, keen and beautiful woman.
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