A long time ago, in the middle of a now S-shaped country, marks the beginning of the city of light. Written based on various sources
Before the 19th century
3000 years ago, there was the Hindu Champa Dynasty, established by Indonesian settlers in 192 AD. The regions surrounding Han (Da Nang) was founded by them as a capital city and centre. Beginning with Emperor Lê Hoàn (founder of the Early Lê Dynasty), the Vietnamese policy of "southward expansion" (Vietnamese: Nam Tiến) brought Champa increasingly into conflict with their northern neighbors; this expansion eventually led to the decline and fall of the Champa Kingdom during the mid-15th century. Then Vietnamese invasion into the region in the 17th century significantly halted Cham development.
In 1305, Da Nang is part of the favorable wedding gifts the Champa King Che Man offered King Tran Nhan Tong to marry Princess Huyen Tran. The wedding gifts are District Chau and District Ly. Da Nang was part of District Ly. At this time, the majority of the village was located in the jungle, rather than the seafront
During the Trinh Nguyen conflict, Tay Son and Nguyen Dynasty witnessed many major events in the national conflicts history. Danang was a battleground led to the misery of Lord Nguyen. On one side was the attack of Lord Trinh’s army from the south, on the other side the Tay Son’s army was suppressing harshly from the south.
In 1797, Danang was a key objective of Nguyen Phuc Anh’ navy. Taking advantage of the monsoon, he brought more than 100 fleets, including the Western copper vessel with big cannons commanded by French officers, to attack Danang. Nguyen Phuc Anh triumphed. That victory was the open door to menace Phu Xuan capital and the collapse of Tay Son.
Encounter the 1st European contact. Are the white strangers from the West friends or foes? Written based on various sources
King Minh Mang Period:
In the middle of the 16th century, when Hoi An was a busy center of the south, Danang was only a small port for goods in transit and ship repair. Danang was the first place Western missionaries came to evangelize Christian religion. In 1615 the local church had hundreds of followers.
One of the first Europeans to visit Danang was Portuguese explorer António de Faria, who anchored in Danang in 1535. Faria was one of the first Westerners to write about the area, and through his influence Portuguese ships began to call regularly at Hội An, which was then a much more important port than Danang. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, French and Spanish traders and missionaries regularly made landfall at Hội An, just south of Danang.
Da Nang was also where Western ships frequented with different intentions. That was a major concern of the Nguyen kings. And those concerns were expressed by the “closing port” policy and military and administration measures to enhance the defense capabilities of Da Nang and Hue Capital. In 1835, after King Minh Mang ordered: “European vessels are not allowed to anchor to do trade at any harbors except for Han Port” Danang became the largest commercial port in the central region, replacing Hoi An. European shipbuilding was improved and large deep draught vessels could easily enter Danang Bay.
French vessels dispatched by Admiral Cécille bombarded Danang, ostensibly on the grounds of persecution of Roman Catholic missionaries in 1847.
Napoleon III and the French Empire annexed the city. Danang was renamed Tourane, marked the darkest period in the history of the city. Written based on various sources.
The French Domination Period
The initial step of dominated national history was the darkest period in the history of this city. This phase began with two opening attacks of the joint French-Spanish army in January 1858 and February 1858. In August 1858, once again ostensibly on the grounds of religious persecution, French troops, led by Admiral Charles Rigault de Genouilly, and under the orders of Napoleon III, landed in Danang as part of the punitive Cochinchina Campaign. The French overpowered the Vietnamese stationed in Danang, swiftly occupying the city and Tien Sa Peninsula (now called Son Tra Peninsula).
The joint army conquered and blocked the Han River and Danang Bay. Despite their initial success, the occupying forces were quickly placed under siege by the Vietnamese army under the command of Nguyen Tri Phuong, and were eventually forced to retreat in March 1860. In 1859, after three attacks on the Dien Hai, Hai Chau, Thac Gian, Lien Tri and Son San port to obstruct the access into Hue, the French proposed for peace talks and withdraw to the South and the North. From that, even if Da Nang was not under French’s fire bullets, it was always coherent in their demanding and the imperial Hue’s concessions when Bien Hoa, Gia Dinh and Dinh Tuong fell into French’s dark hands, when Hanoi lost and when Thuan An was occupied.
Conversely, however, the French were able to capture the southern stronghold of Saigon, and in June 1862 several provinces of southern Vietnam were ceded to the French as Cochinchina with the signing of the Treaty of Saigon. Through two more decades of conflict, the French gradually strengthened their hold on Vietnam, culminating in the establishment of French Indochina (French: Union de l'Indochine Française) in October 1887.
The French colonists, after establishing their domination of the whole of Vietnam in 1889, separated Danang from Quang Nam Province and renamed the city Tourane and under the control of the Governor General of Indochina. It came to be considered one of Indochina’s five major cities, among Hanoi, Saigon–Cholon, Haiphong, and Huế.
In the early 20th century, Tourane was developed on a European model, which focused on social infrastructure and manufacture technology. Together with Hai Phong and Sai Gon, Tourane became an important trading center of the country.
During the 62 years under the French, Danang (as well as Hanoi and Haiphong) was the local franchise of French. French has the ultimate right to do what they want to organize and develop the city, from administrative structure, infrastructure development to economic exploitation. Under this policy, all personnel investments (including education) were to train a low class generation with minimum knowledge (elementary level) and an obedient attitude bowed to serve the colonial apparatus; all investments in infrastructure (like roads, bridges) were to exploit local resources to enrich the mother country, and all religious activities were to serve the French’ spiritual needs and create favorable conditions for the development of Christianity. Those did not tell the real purpose of the implementation (this purpose was totally different from the publicity of the government protection) and the relation between the real purpose and the ruled people’s lives.
Returning Danang to the local government, did the French finally give up? A big clever swindle. A brutal massacre. Souls were captured. Lives were lost. Written based on various sources.
The National Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam Period
Danang during the period 1950 - 1975 began with the event French gave the authority over the city to the Bao Dai government on January 3, 1950. The nature of this returning was just part of a big swindle to trick the local and power up the “Use Vietnamese to treat Vietnamese”. Through the newly established lackey machine, the French pushed full force to compel Vietnamese youngsters, even minorities into joining the army of hell. Brazen measures were taken such as a daylight raid in the city, on cars, in theaters…combined with seduction, deception games to form theirs puppet army units. These Vietnamese units would be put into cannon fodder instead of French.
Since 1950-1954, with American money and American weapons, with puppet military forces henchmen and puppet Vietnamese authorities, the French made cumulative, barrier villages, established that a job aggressively. From mid-1950, they used guns to force 14,000 people from the northwest of Hoa Vang into the base of Tung Son, Nghia An, Nam O, Lien Chieu, Quan Nam. Then appoint the mayor, civil defense establishment, trenching, entrench a western belt of protected areas in Da Nang and Hai Van Pass. More wicked, from 6.1951 months they apply security measures by half way round: a half circle to reach Da Nang (including the Hoa Khuong, Hoa Tien, Hoa Qui) and a half circle to reach self-areas due. On the half circle to reach Da Nang, they brutally massacred, destroyed villages in Hoa Khuong, Hoa Tien, Hoa Quy. By rockets, just in 15 days, 500 people were killed (half the population of the village). With these brutal atrocities, they temporarily succeeded in forcing pushing us away from the city.
In the city, the enemy increased curfew. They were disguised to ambush and hunt. Their Secret Network operated urgently. They set spies everywhere, hunting, attacking the base, terrorizing anyone they suspected of participating in resistance. In offices and factories, on one hand they organized unions, set “workers representatives”, “conciliation council”...; ordered inspection teams went to the government with promises “improving living standards for workers”. On the other hand they stealthily brought spies into community organizations, force workers to hang profile pictures at workplace for easier control.
From that date, the city has developed in a completely new dimension in every areas of administrative, economic (commercial ports, airports, railways), education, culture ... In March 1965, Danang once again was renewed when the U.S. Marines landed on Nam O beach to set up a big military complex. The city was defined as a centrally governed city in 1967, and accordingly American troops and the Saigon government built up Danang into a political, military and cultural center of the 1st and 2nd tactical zones.
During the Vietnam War, the city was home to a major air base that was used by both the South Vietnamese and United States air forces. The base was considered one of the world's busiest airports during the war, reaching an average of 2,595 air traffic operations daily, more than any airport in the world at that time. The final U.S. ground combat operations in Vietnam ceased on 13 August 1972, when a residual force of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade stood down in Danang. B Battery 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment fired the final U.S. artillery round and the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment finished their final patrols. This residual force was known as "Operation Gimlet".
Two events have great influence in the development of Da Nang during this period. First, after the Geneva agreement, thanks to geography, economics and strategy reasons, Danang became the most important cities in the Central. However, the government of Ngo Dinh Diem still tried to steal that position for Hue. Second, in 1975, after gaining complete independence, Danang (temporarily under Quang Nam – Da Nang Province) began to overcome the war’s severe consequences. Regardless of difficulties, the city’s rehabilitation and development had some results, especially after the renovation in 1986. Accordingly, the port of Da Nang will be a trading port with the balance between import and export and the export will be done with the project industrial development in west area of the city. In addition, Da Nang will be direct to the overall development of Southeast Asia, according to which, Da Nang will be the export and import of Laos and Cambodia.
Peace was restored. Danang recovered after the war. Now, it is one of the most peaceful places where the future begins. Written based on various sources.
The Republic of South Vietnam and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Period.
In 1975, peace was restored, Da Nang (the city of Quang Nam - Da Nang) started to recover after the heavy consequences of war. Although it was very difficult but the restoration and development of the city has achieved many accomplishments, especially in the renovation period, after 1986.
November 6, 1996 at its 10th session, the IXth National Assembly passed a resolution allowing the province of Quang Nam - Da Nang, Quang Nam and separated into Da Nang city under central authority. Da Nang city now consist of Da Nang, Hoa Vang District and Hoang Sa island district.
January 1, 1997, Danang became the official central cities.
July 15, 2003, Danang was recognized as an urban type.
In 2005, a Hoa Vang district was separated and formed a new district of Cam Le district.
Today, Danang is one of the most robust developing cities in Vietnam. Like a rising dragon, Danang has been thrashing, strongly transforming into a cosmopolitan city on the world map. To local, it is one of the most peaceful places where the future begins. To tourists, it has become a frequently visited coastal paradise to create gentle memories and share long-lasting experiences.
The past curtain is now finally closed. And the present curtain is raised. Come visit us frequently to get the latest updates on Danang, including everything you need to know about touring here.