Kim Lan - Ancient Pottery Village

Published:  06:35 Monday - November 12, 2012

Kim Lan - Ancient Pottery Village

Kim Lan Village is considered the cradle of household ceramic wares in the old Thang Long Capital (present-day Hanoi ). Thanks to the hands of skilled artisans, clay from this village turns into beautiful and useful products which are famous nationwide.

The village is located in Gia Lam District, southeast of Hanoi, bordering Bat Trang, a famous pottery making village in the north, and Hoang Mai District in the west. It has a long-standing founding history and is one of the famous pottery producing centres in the country.


The craft of making ceramic wares brings a great benefit to Kim Lan villagers. 


Ancient pottery relics found in Kim Lan are preserved by Nguyen Viet Hong.

Kim Lan villagers still preserve the technique of producing ancient tiles.


Ceramic wares made by Kim Lan villagers are known for their practicality rather than ornate design. The products are diverse in variety, from toothpick and candle holders, to flowerpots, decanters and jars. Additionally, the villagers also concentrate on producing pottery wares in service of construction, such as decorative tiles, handrails, etc.

In 2001, Japanese archaeologist Nishimura Masanari and students from Hanoi National University carried out an excavation in Kim Lan relic site and found many pieces of high-grade ceramics, including Long Tuyen and Viet Chau pottery of China at three sites. Of particular interest was a cup with two ears that was used to drink wine from the 11th century; a piece of deep blue glazed plate with a diameter of 45cm decorated with phoenixes, first found in Vietnam; and a vestige of a sugar furnace with an architectural foundation of 20 x 10cm.

In early 2003, other vestiges were found in Kim Lan area, including architectural and decorative materials, ancient ceramic wares and relics of pottery kilns in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400). Based on the results of the three excavations, the archaeologists came to the conclusion that Kim Lan Village was a centre producing ancient ceramic wares in the 13th – 14th century. Furthermore, the pottery products were possibly exported to foreign countries because pieces of pottery in the Tran Dynasty have patterns which are similar to that found in the Philippines and Indonesia . So far, people and archaeologists have found tens of thousands of relics in Kim Lan that helps Ham Rong area in Kim Lan Commune be recognized as an archaeological site.

Kim Lan Pottery Village has now produced many kinds of high-quality products which are not only provided to the domestic market but also foreign countries, such as Japan and South Korea . Together with the pottery villages of Phu Lang in Bac Ninh Province and Bat Trang in Hanoi, Kim Lan Village has continued preserving and promoting the traditional craft.


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