The Môt Côt pagoda was built by Emperor Lý Thái Tông, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. It was rebuilt in the 13th century, destroyed by the French in the 20th century and rebuilt by the new Vietnamese government. Originally it was in the centre of a set of pagodas, it was larger and its pillar was made of teak wood and not concrete as it is now.
Many legends tell the story of the pagoda. Emperor Lý Thái Tông had it built following a dream announcing the birth of a son presented by a goddess on a lotus flower.