Dong Xuan is the name of the largest market in Hanoi. Located in the heart of the Old Quarter, it was part of an ancient hamlet of that name before it became a street. It was built in 1889 by the French colonial administration to replace the Cau Dong (Eastern Bridge) Market situated to the east, close to the To Lich River, which was partly filled for the arrangement of new streets.
At the end of 19th century, the Old Quarter of Hanoi had two main marketplaces, one at Hang Duong street and the other at Hang Ma street. In 1889, these two markets were closed and replaced by the original Dong Xuan Market which was built by the order of the French administration in 1889 as one of the principal new architectures of Hanoi, together with Long Bien Bridge which was located nearby and completed in 1902.
The market was located at the Hanoi’s Old Quarter which was only 600 m north of Hoan Kiem Lake.The covered area of the market was about 6.500 m² with a large roof of corrugated galvanised ironsupplied by the French contractor Poinsard Veyret.
The most recognizable feature of the market was the 5-arch entrance corresponding to Dong Xuan Market’s five domes, each dome was measured 19 m in height and 25 m in width. When the First Indochina War broke out in Hanoi in early 1947, a fierce struggle between Việt Minh and French forces took place in the area of the market on February 14.To commemorate the event, a memorial was erected near the principal gate of the market in 2005.
In 1994, the market was nearly destroyed by a disastrous fire which claimed the lost of about 4.5 million USD worth of stock. After the fire, Dong Xuan Market was rebuilt in the original form and it is still the largest covered market of Hanoi. The ward to which the market belongs is also named Dong Xuan (phường Đồng Xuân), this is one of the busiest commercial place of Hanoi with about a half of the total number of households has trading activities.