ExperiencesCity & CultureSwallow Tower - Nearly 800-year-old Cham tower dedicated to fairies in Phu Yen
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City & Culture

Swallow Tower - Nearly 800-year-old Cham tower dedicated to fairies in Phu Yen

Translated by Bing
The Swallow Tower was built around the 12th century, worshipping the fairy Thien Y A Na, according to legend that once came down to earth to show people to cultivate ploughs and weave cloth.

Swallow Tower (Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen) was built around the 12th century, is one of the Cham towers that is quite intact, typical of Cham Pa culture.

The tower was built on the eastern slope of Swallow Mountain, 64 m above sea level. Because there are many terns living and nesting, this place is named after this bird.

The birth of the tower originated from the story of the fairy Thien Y A Na's descent to earth. She taught the people living in this land everything from plowing, weaving, spinning... to have a way to make a living. After the fairy returned to the fairy realm, the people of Cham Pa because they remembered and wanted to pay tribute to the enlightener for their people, so they built a tower to worship.

The architectural relic of Swallow tower is built including 3 parts: The base of the tower, the tower body and the tower roof with a height of about 24 m. The base of the tower is square, the tower body is built large at the base and gradually shrinks towards the top.

The tower roof is about 8.5 m high, the four corners are pillar ears that look like lotus buds, the top is a large monolithic stone symbolizing linga. Linga is a male aura, symbolizing Shiva, one of the three supreme deities of Hinduism. Over hundreds of years of existence, the tower is tinged with ancient moss.

The Swallow Tower is built entirely of baked bricks arranged very firmly. According to research, this type of brick is light but durable, compressive, and impact-resistant than ordinary bricks. Until now, learning how to blend the glue to bind the bricks firmly and without revealing any lake lines has remained a mystery.

The base and body of the tower are built in square shape, symbolizing the land. At the base of the tower, the upper rows of bricks are built backwards from the rows below, so that they shrink and cling to the body.

The tower body is 10.5m across, about 9.3m high. The wall is vertical, complementary at 4 corners, creating convex ledges on the sides and back. The tower body is the connection between the base and the roof of the tower, expressing the idea of heaven - earth - humanity.

The Swallow Tower has only one door, facing East, the entrance with stairs nearly 2m high. Inside the tower has an area of about 15 m2, simple layout, no pedestal, just an altar of Thien Y A Na overlooking the door. Visitors to her need to remove slippers outside the tower door. The architecture above the roof is seen from inside the tower with bricks built in a square shape, clustered at the top of the tower.

From the Swallow tower, it can be seen covering Tuy Hoa city, the coast, Hung Vuong bridge over the mouth of Da Rang River ... The Swallow Tower was listed as a Special National Monument in 2018.

According to VnE

Image source: Multiple authors
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