August 22, 2017

3133 VIETNAM (Red River Delta) - Long Biên Bridge in Hanoi

Originally called Paul Doumer Bridge, Long Biên Bridge is a historic cantilever bridge across the Red River that connects two districts, Hoan Kiem and Long Bien of the city of Hanoi. It was built in 1899-1902 by the architects Daydé & Pillé of Paris, and opened in 1903. At 1.68 kilometres in length, it was, at that time, one of the longest bridges in Asia. For the French colonial government, the construction was of strategic importance in securing control of northern Vietnam.

The bridge was heavily bombarded during Vietnam War due to its critical position (the only bridge at that time across the Red River connecting Hanoi to the main port of Haiphong). The first attack took place in 1967, and the center span of the bridge was felled. The defence of Long Bien Bridge continues to play a large role in Hanoi's self-image and is often extolled in poetry and song. It was rendered unusable for a year when, in May 1972, it fell victim to one of the first co-ordinated attacks using laser-guided "smart bombs".

Some parts of the original structure remain intact, while large sections have been built later to repair the holes. Only half of the bridge retains its original shape. A project with support and loan from the French government is currently in progress to restore the bridge to its original appearance. Today trains, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians use the dilapidated bridge, while all other traffic is diverted to some newly built bridges.

About the stamps
The stamp, designed by Vu Kim Lien and issued on August 8, 2015 is the one of Vietnam realised to mark the 48th Anniversary of ASEAN. About the stamps issued jointly by all the member countries, using a common design, I wrote here.

The second stamp is one of the two designed by Nguyen Du and issued on December 1, 2015 to mark the Chinese New Year 2016 - Year of the Monkey.

Long Biên Bridge - Wikipedia

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from Hanoi (Red River Delta / Vietnam), on ??.07.2017
Photo: Nguyen Hoang Ha

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