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Secrets of Hanoi’s two oldest water towers

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Passing through the Hang Dau water tower’s old door, you come upon a quiet space. Sunlight from a window above is not enough to light up the room, which has over 1 meter-thick walls. Residents’ co-operation vital in efforts to preserve Old Quarter Hanoi - Old streets and traditional trades Hoan Kiem Lake’s banks renewed
This water tower was built in 1894, before Long Bien Bridge, located at the crossroads of Hang Than, Hang Luoc,
Hang Giay, Hang Dau, Quan Thanh and Phan Dinh Phung streets. According to Nguyen Tri Khoa, Hanoi Clean Water Company Chair, this water tower was the first work marking the transformation of Hanoi into an urban center. Previously, Hanoians used well water or water from lakes and ponds. “The French first built electric and water works to serve the government and French soldiers. The remaining output was for people in the Old Quarter, ” Khoa explained. This water tower has become a special landmark in Hanoi, just like Hoan Kiem Lake or the Old Quarter. During the wars, the tower was not hit, but in the 1960s, it stopped working. Khoa revealed that the halt came “when the Yen Phu water plant and water processing technology was upgraded. However, the underground pipe is still connected to the city’s water pipe system.” Khoa also noted that this historical water tower was almost torn down to build more shops. For years, the tower was surrounded by many stalls, but in 2003, these stalls were closed. Ngo Quynh Dung, administrative manager of the Hanoi Water Supply Company, the ancient water tower stood in its original form until early April 2010, when the tower was refurbished. He observed that plans called for the tower to be installed with new lamps but finally, the city government decided to cover the old tower with new mortar and add a new roof. Dung, who has collected information about this old tower for years, suggested turning this tower into a water museum open on weekends. Another old water tower named Don Thuy is similar to Hang Dau tower, but it is less popular. It was built at the same time as Hang Dau tower, but is located on the Hoan Kiem Water Trading Enterprise campus in an alley off Dinh Cong Trang road. This work’s original structure has been changed, except for its outward layer. The two towers were built by stones taken from the Citadel in 1894. They are exactly the same in style and size: 19m in diameter and over 20m high. With a total capacity of 2500cu.m, clean water was distributed to the whole city from the two water towers.
 

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