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According to ancient documents, in the time of Hung King’s country building, Bac Ninh then belonged to Vu Ninh, one of fifteen districts (bộ) of Van Lang nation. In the Han Dynasty, the province belonged to Giao Chi, then to Giao Chau. In the Dinh Dynasty, Bac Ninh belonged to Bac Giang prefecture (đạo). Under the Pre – Le and Ly Dynasty, Bac Ninh was regarded as a road (lộ). This area is the origin of Ly Dynasty (King Ly Thai To was born in Co Phap village, now is Dinh Bang commune, Tu Son town).
In the Tran Dynasty, this land was Kinh Bac road (lộ) before it was changed into Kinh Bac town (trấn) in 1337. In the Ming Dynasty, Kinh Bac town belonged to Bac Giang prefecture. In 1456, in the Post – Le Dynasty, the town was once again renamed into Bac Dao. In 1469, it was changed into a region, then into a town under the rule of King Le Tuong Duc (1509 – 1516).
In the Mac Dynasty, it was named Thuan An State (phủ) which belonged to Hai Duong. In the Le Trung Hung Dynasty, it was reestablished as Kinh Bac town. In 1593, it belonged to Bac Thanh. In the Nguyen Dynasty, from 1822 it was renamed into Bac Ninh town. In 1831, Kinh Minh Mang renamed it into Bac Ninh province (one of thirteen provinces to be firstly established by Kinh Minh Mang in Bac Ky). In 1895, the French colonist divided Bac Ninh into two provinces (Bac Ninh and Luc Nam). Under the French colony, Bac Ninh town was organized into a key entrenched fortification of military of Bac Ky and a regional political and economic center. In 1938, Bac Ninh town was ranked the fifth city of Bac Ky after Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Hai Duong.
From the beginning of the 20th century to 1961, the province was step divided part of its land to establish Phu Lo province, which was then called Phuc Yen province, intergrated Gia Lam district to Ha Noi. In 1963, Bac Ninh was merged with Bac Giang province into Ha Bac province with Bac Giang as township. As of 1996, Ha Bac province was once again split into two provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang according to the Resolution of the IX National Assembly, session 10 (15/11/1996). Since 1/1/1997, Bac Ninh province was re – established, since then Bac Ninh town has become the township of the new Bac Ninh province. Recently, Bac Ninh town was upgraded into Bac Ninh city under the administration of Bac Ninh province.
Kinh Bac is one of the oldest cultural and most developed regions of Vietnamese in northern Thang Long, Red River Delta (which concentrates mainly in Bac Ninh, Bac Giang provinces nowadays). It is one of the centers of ancient Vietnamese civilization. Also in this land, spritual and ideological values are reflected by legends of King Duong Vuong, Lac Long Quan, Au Co, Thanh Giong, An Duong Vuong... Along with the legends are typical relics such as tomb of King Duong Vuong, shrines of Lac Long Quan, Au Co, shrines of Phu Dong Thien Vuong in Thuan Thang, Tu Son, Tien Du... Luy Lau Citadel in Thanh Khuong (Dau) with relics of palatial mansions, market streets, temples ans monuments is the rest of Vietnam's political, economic and commercial, Buddhist and Confucian center in the first millennium AD.
This land forms lots of legends going in the spirit of Vietnamese people; and is also the birth place of many historical talents such as 8 Kings of Ly dynasty; 5 among 6 ministers (thượng thư) of Le dynasty were from Bac Ninh; Ngo Gia Tu, a staunch communist soldier. Besides, Bac Ninh is the homeland of the Quan Ho folk song, which is typical for the Northern folk song with deep regional characteristics. Quan ho Bac Ninh today has become a valuable cultural heritage of Viet Nam.
Bac Ninh is not only famous for Quan Ho folksong but also as the home of temple, festivals and traditional cultural activities. Each festival shows the local and national beauty and cultural elite.
Bac Ninh is the 3rd among localities for building large-scale temple of literature. Bac Ninh temple of literature with the stored cultural and historic sites are precious evidences for Kinh Bac civilization.
On the other hand, Bac Ninh is also the locality with many famous handicraft villages such as Dong Ky wood furniture, Dong Ho painting, and Dai Bai copper village… which is one of the conditions for tourist development.
Nowadays, in the cause of innovation under the leadership of the Party, the valuable cultural heritages of Bac Ninh – Kinh Bac are being preserved and promoted, contributing to buliding an advanced culture deeply imbued with Kinh Bac identity