Bat Trang Pottery Village
By Hanoi Local Guide
Situated on the left bank of the Red River, about 10km away from the center of Hanoi is the pottery village of Bat Trang. Bat Trang village, the most ancient and famous pottery village of Vietnam, continues to work today and is constantly developing.
It is said that, the village took its first name from Bach Thu guild (a guild of Kaolin potters) and then it became Bat Trang guild (a guild of bowls and kilns). According to the legend, pottery production began in Bat Trang in the Ly Dynasty. Previous to this the villagers remember that their native village was in Bo Bat (or Bach Bat), in Yen Mo district, Ninh Binh province. What happened was that some people from Bo Bat village took a boat trip on the Red River to trade. When they arrived at the nearby capital of Thang Long, they found some waste but fertile land and stayed there for a night. That night, one of them had a dream of being invited by Neptune to visit the water palace. Understanding the poor circumstances of the man, Neptune sent some workers to build him a splendid house of clay. Long afterwards, also in his dream, his children used to eat the clay, but the wall never collapsed. This man told his dream to the group, who considering it to be a good omen, decided to settle on this land and establish a new village.
Although this legend is not convincing evidence for the date of establishment of Bat Trang village, some archeological data shows that many of the Ly Dynasty’s relics are decorated with blue enamel pottery. Perhaps a more reliable document is the “Du Dia Chi “of Nguyen Trai, compiled in early Le Dynasty, which stated that in each tribute to the Chinese Dynasty, Bat Trang had to provide 70 sets of dishes and bowls, which indicates that by that time, the Bat Trang pottery was quite sophisticated. Nowadays many temples and pagodas still preserve lamps and incense burners, with dragons and phoenix, clouds and flowers decorated in blue, with the name, address and date of production in Bat Trang in the XVI century, for example in Boi Khe Pagoda in Ha Tay province.
There are also other foreign documents giving information about Bat Trang pottery in the XVI to XVII centuries, for example Ancient Asian Pottery by Pujio Koiama. Anyway all information considered, we can estimate that Bat Trang village existed, as a suburb of Thang Long capital, as a handicraft village some 500 years ago. Bat Trang pottery has been distributed to every region of Vietnam and even to foreign countries, it is valued as typical pottery of Vietnam and has become well-known nationally and internationally. There are various kinds of pottery, for example jade enamel (under the Ly-Tran Dynasties), brown flower or brown enamel (under the late Tran to early Le Dynasties), cracked enamel (under the late Le Dynasty) and royal blue enameled items (under the late Le to Nguyen Dynasties). It is known that all these valuable potteries were produced in Bat Trang, except for the brown enameled pottery which was produced mainly in the Tho Ha pottery village (Ha Bac province).
The pottery and village of Bat Trang have been expressed in literature as a pride of the Vietnamese people. Such examples are: – Wish that I can marry you I will buy Bat Trang brick to build… (Folk verse) – Nga Son’s mat, Bat Trang’s brick Nam Dinh’s silk, Ha Dong’s silk. (To Huu) Over the centuries, Bat Trang pottery has maintained a high quality and has produced mostly items for worship, such as lamps, incense burners and vases. Gradually, with market demand, house utensils appeared, mostly bowls, dishes and vases. Nowadays, Bat Trang produces many different types and designs of items, including decorative items, such as hanging dishes, vases, toy animals and reproduction statues using sophisticated techniques and technology. The Bat Trang art and craft of pottery gives us astonishing admiration for the talent of the village’s artists, they have created, from clay and fire, jade enamel for life.
5 Reviews of Bat Trang Pottery Village
Bat Trang, a small village in the north of Vietnam, is renowned for its beauty and high-quality ceramics and pottery products. Bat Trang’s vases, bowls and many other kinds of ceramics are exported worldwide....
I take about 20 minutes go to Bat Trang by car. there are a lot of ceramic. There are many cute thing made by ceramic.... as cup , disk , bow .... I really like it. good place to see
A traditional pottery village and famous in Vietnam. To make pottery right through the stages of the land selection process and soil blending, create designs, create patterns, enamelled and finally baked products.I...
On the left bank of Hong river and about 10 km from Hanoi in East (in Gia Lam District, Hanoi), there situated a pottery village, which is the most famous and long-standing pottery village in Vietnam for its name...
I can learn how to do some small thing there. I also see many beautyful thing and how the full sequenes of doing ceramics.So nice and exciting about this trip
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