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Tra Co Communal House

The Tra Co Communal House is situated next to a beautiful beach in Tra Co Ward, Mong Cai Town, Quang Ninh Province. This mansion was built in 1462 but since then has gone through many restorations. The communal house is devoted to the cult of the tutelary genies who were six founders of the village and they came from Haiphong.

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It is built in the shape of the letter dinh (J). Its Front Ceremonial Hall has five compartments and two lean-tos. Its Back Sanctuary includes three compartments. The decorative themes here are rich and diversified, including: dragons, unicorns, tortoises and phoenixes. They are represented with very elaborate artistic carvings.

Covering an area of 405m², the communal house has 48 ironwood pillars. Its main pillars are 4.65m high and 1.5m in perimeter, set up by carpenters from Thanh Hoa. Its roof is slightly sagging and its four scimitar edges curve upwards. The beam heads are carved with dragon’s heads. Inside the communal house there are tens of exquisite carvings and gilded parallel panels. Its cua vong (arch door) feature carved images of female fairies riding dragons flying in cloud, above bobbing sea waves. The upper part of the doors shows the motif of dragon flanking the sun. Apart from four sacred animals (dragon, tortoise, unicorn, and phoenix), one can find long - necked horned spotted deer with short tail that are running or standing, holding chrysanthemums in their mouths.

Its Back Sanctuary covers 72m². Here you can find a bas - relief lotus in a square flowered pattern. In front of the Back Sanctuary there is a “door” made out of silk embroidered with dragons and phoenixes.

The festival of Tra Co Communal House lasts from the 30th day of the fifth lunar month until the 6th day of the sixth lunar month.