Temple of the Trung Sisters (Den Hai Ba Trung) in Hanoi, Vietnam

The Temple of the Trung Sisters in Hanoi was built to commemorate the two Vietnamese national heroines who first went into battle against the Chinese regime around 40 AD.

The Temple of the Trung Sisters in Hanoi, the Den Hai Ba Trung, is located about 2 kilometres south of Hoan Kiem Lake. It was built in 1142 by King Ly Anh Tong and is also called Dong Nhan Temple after its location in Dong Nhan Village.


One statue shows the two Trung sisters kneeling with their hands extended upwards, as if they were speaking to a crowd. In addition to the statues of the sisters, the 12 generals, also women, who followed the rebels into battle, are immortalised in the form of sculptures in the sanctum of the temple.

Once a year, the temple of the Trung sisters is the centre of the celebrations held in honour of the anniversary of their death. At this time, the otherwise rather quiet temple area awakens to lively life.

National heroines of Vietnam

The Den Hai Ba Trung temple in Hanoi is dedicated to the Trung sisters, two national heroines of Vietnam - © Amore Mio CC BY-SA3.0/W
© Amore Mio CC BY-SA3.0/W

The Trung sisters are two Vietnamese national heroines who fought against Chinese oppression around 40 AD. Trung Trac and Trung Nhi were born in North Vietnam, the exact date is unknown. They are highly revered throughout Vietnam for leading the first resistance movement against the 247-year Chinese regime.

For three years, they led their retinue into battle against the Chinese again and again, had themselves crowned queens of Vietnam. But finally they faced an invincible superiority and had to give up. Before they fell into the hands of their enemies, however, they drowned themselves in the river.

Temples and memorials were built in their honour, and the anniversary of their deaths in February became an annual holiday. The Hai Ba Trung district in Hanoi was named after the two rebellious sisters, as were many large streets and several schools in Taiwan. They are usually depicted riding two giant war elephants.

Although the revolt of the Trung Sisters dates back 2000 years, their legacy is still relevant. The Trung Sisters are a national symbol of Vietnam, representing resistance and the country's freedom and independence.