Hoi An Ancient Town is the UNESCO World Heritage site, since 1990. Located in Vietnam, in the province of Quang Nam, only 30 km from Danang. Hoi An Ancient Town was known as a cargo harbor from the 15th to 19th centuries. Although the port of Hoi An was officially founded by Lord Nguyen in 1595, these areas have previously been inhabited at least 2200 years ago.
Hoi An (Hội An – 會安) translates as a “peaceful meeting place”. In English and other European languages, the town was known historically as Faifo. This word is derived from Vietnamese Hội An phố (the town of Hội An), which was shortened to “Hoi-pho”, and then to “Faifo”. Originally, Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the “Japanese Bridge” (16th-17th century). The bridge (Chùa cầu) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist temple attached to one side.
Hoi An port loses its shine when the European shipbuilding evolved and they were able to get into the Danang Bay by large merchant ships. Moreover, the Danang became slowly the main port for trade, in central Vietnam. Large merchant ships arrived from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, United Kingdom and America. The first Christian missionaries also visited the Hoi An, which made Hoi An the first city in Vietnam, that encountered Christianity.
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