Vietnam's only sundial to undergo renovation after 110 years

By An Minh   March 9, 2024 | 10:47 pm PT
Vietnam's only sundial to undergo renovation after 110 years
An illustration of a renovated sundial in Bac Lieu. Photo courtesy of the Bac Lieu City People's Committee
A sundial in the Mekong Delta’s Bac Lieu Province that is over 110 years old, the only one of its kind in Vietnam, will be renovated following a period of degradation.

In accordance with renovation plans, the Thai Duong sundial will have its damaged hour section restored, and its granite face will be replaced with terracotta.

An artistic lighting system will also be installed. Terracotta lasts longer over time, allowing the sundial to retain its functionality for longer.

The granite parts of the foundation of the sundial will be removed, and stairs will be built to access the sundial. There will also be fences and anti-flooding and water collection systems. Flowers and plants will be grown around the site, and be pruned regularly to make sure the sun’s rays reach the sundial.

The renovation is expected to cost over VND800 million ($32,400). Plans for the renovation are being presented before the People’s Committee for approval.

The sundial was built by Luu Van Lang (1880-1969), the first civil engineer in southern Vietnam, in 1913. The object is located on 30/4 Street in Bac Lieu City.

The object is made of bricks, with Roman numerals inscribed. When sun rays hit the sundial, the shadows they cast signify the hours of the day.

The Bac Lieu Museum said Thai Duong is the only sundial left in Vietnam, with discrepancies of 5-7 minutes compared to a normal clock. In 2006, the sundial was recognized as a historical-cultural relic at the provincial level.

The bricks in the front of the sundial have been damaged, and the Roman numerals have faded away over time. The sundial is also covered in moss.

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