Truc Bach Lake is situated adjacent to West Lake, in the south of the old Truc Bach Village, present-day Quan Thanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. The lake is shielded on three sides by streets full of houses. Only the western side of the lake faces Thanh Nien Road, a place where visitors can admire the calm beauty of the lake.
Truc Bach Lake appeared in the 17th century when people in Yen Hoa Village (now Yen Phu) and Yen Quang Village (now Quan Thanh Street) built a dyke (called Co Ngu) to change a corner of West Lake into a small pond to raise fish. In 1957 and 1958, Thanh Nien Road was constructed to separate the two lakes.
From the time when it was separated, Truc Bach Lake was noted in ancient bibliographies. The book “Tay Ho Chi” wrote that in the south of this lake, there was Truc Yen Village which was famous for the craft of making bamboo screens. Therefore, every household in the area grew bamboo plants. There were so many bamboo plants that it made this place look like a forest.
In the dynasty of Lord Trinh Giang (1729-1740), a palace called Vien Truc Lam was built in the area. Later, it became the place of detention of delinquent imperial maids who had to weave silk to earn their living. The silk fabric with the trademark of “Bamboo Village Silk” quickly became famous throughout the capital for its beauty and smoothness.
Like the whole West Lake area, Truc Bach Lake is surrounded by historical sites and structures still displaying their original architecture. Quan Thanh Temple is situated on the southwest corner of the lake. On the east corner, Chau Long Pagoda built in Tran Dynasty was the place where Princess Khiet Co of King Tran Nhan Tong (1279-1293) led a religious life. There is also in Pho Duc Chinh Street An Tri Temple which is dedicated to the worship of Uy Do, a hero in a war against the Yuan invaders. On a small islet in the northern corner of the lake, there was a temple called Cau Nhi.
But now the temple no longer stands, it has been replaced by a stele engraved the legend of Cau Nhi Temple.
In 2000, Truc Bach Lake was planned and upgraded with the circle of streets called Truc Bach and Tran Vu Streets, linking the two ends of Thanh Nien Road. The lake’s banks were paved with stone and surrounded pavements were paved with tiles. Additionally, small flower gardens with roses, daisies and grass were built around the lake. The rows of willow and bamboo trees also make the lake look more beautiful.
Visiting Truc Bach Lake, the visitors can enjoy a cup of Trung Nguyen coffee at nearby restaurants, or row on the lake to behold the landscape.
Today, Truc Bach Lake, West Lake and Thanh Nien Road shaded by flamboyant and lagerstroemia trees constitute a harmonious complex of beauty spots that fascinate anyone to Hanoi