Mother Au Co Temple – Phu Tho

Mother Au Co Temple is dedicated to the legendary Au Co, mother of the ancient Hung King, believed to be the founder of the Vietnamese nation. Inspired by Dong Son culture, building materials were selected from across the country to incorporate modern and traditional features.

A Vietnamese legend describes how around 2900 BC, couple Lac Long Quan and Au Co had 100 children. Fifty sons followed their father to the sea and the other half followed their mother to the mountains.

When the family arrived at Hien Luong on Ha Hoa Mount in Phu Tho, mother Au Co and her children were so captivated by the area’s fertility and stunning landscapes they decided to settle there, and this was where the eldest son was crowned Hung Vuong (Hung King). They grew rice and mulberry to raise silk worms for cloth.

When Au Co rode a five-colour cloud to heaven, she left a halter top underneath a banian tree, and locals dedicated a temple to her at this site.

The temple is part of a complex dedicated to the Hung Dynasty. Located in Van Mountain, the temple consists of the sanctum worshipping Mother Au Co, western and eastern pavilions, house of stele, stone pillars, three-door gate, etc.

The main temple faces west and bronze casts of the generals Lac Hau and Lac Tuong stand sentry beside the central statue of Au Co. Annexes on each side contain two bronze reliefs depicting the scenes of sons following their father to the sea and Au Co leading 50 others to the mountains.

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