Hanoi’s One Pillar Pagoda

Despite it being a replica of what was once a thousand-year-old pagoda, the One Pillar Pagoda is today considered one of Vietnam’s most iconic Buddhist temples.

Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Branches 327-0535413038

The One Pillar Pagoda is almost a thousand years old. Sort of. In another in a long line of despicably pointless destructive acts committed by colonial military forces, the French destroyed the nearly 1000-year-old pagoda in 1954 on their way out. The Vietnamese government subsequently rebuilt it.

The version that’s there now sits above a large lily pond (or small lake, depending on which way you look at it), tucked just behind the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the Ba Dinh district of Hanoi.

The top is dark, carved wood shaped to resemble a lotus flower. The single pillar base it balances on was once also wood, but in the modern version it’s rather ugly bare concrete. Concrete might be more practical, but I can’t help wondering whether a tin of dark brown paint was really that hard to find–it is, after all, named after the pillar.

Despite it being a replica, the One Pillar Pagoda is today considered one of Vietnam’s most iconic Buddhist temples.

Photos of the One Pillar Pagoda

Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Lillies 327-0520062987
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Statue with Temple 327-0537423046
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Statue 327-0521432994
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Temple 327-0522453001
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Lion Statue 327-0536313042
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Shrine 327-0521552997
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Steps 327-0518482984
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Shrine and Tourists 327-0543373055
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda with Pond 327-0518272982
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]
Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda 327-0518042980x
[license topic=”One Pillar Pagoda Hanoi”]

What to Know Before You Go

The One Pillar Pagoda is close to the Botanical Garden and West Lake.

Where to Next?

David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »