Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam’s Temple of Literature is also Vietnam’s first national university.

One of the recommended places to visit when in Hanoi would probably be the Temple of Literature. Not only it is a national heritage site but also one of the oldest and significant building in Hanoi. King Ly Thanh Tong constructed the temple in 1070, dedicating it to Confucius and his disciples.

The Imperial Academy was Vietnam’s first university, established from 1076 to 1802. Thousands of talented men were educated there during its course of operation, before contributing to the country.

The Five Courtyards

After purchasing tickets at 30,000 dong each outside the entrance, we entered the complex through Cong Van Mieu (Great Portico). Evidently, the place is divided into 5 courtyards in which each has its own significance.

The second courtyard is known as the Great Central Courtyard, also known as the Courtyard of Great Success. It features the famous Khue Van Cac, symbolizing the beauty of knowledge and culture. One might easily miss this red pavilion built on four white stone columns.

After walking through, you would be at the third courtyard where there is a square pool called the “Well of Heavenly Brilliance”. It is a beautiful spot for photos as many tourists would pose around the pool. The halls alongside have rows of stone stelae pedestals shaped as tortoise, representing permeances.

The fourth courtyard is where the altars to Confucius and his disciples is. Confucius is well known to be clever, kind and fond of studying. He had nearly 3000 students and has been honored as “The Ever-Lasting Exemplary teacher”.

Finally lies The Imperial Academy at the fifth courtyard. The building is in traditional imperial style and has 2 floors. The ground floor displays the statue of director Quoc Tu Giam, Chu Van An and various exhibits. The upper floor is dedicated to the three kings who has made significant contributions.

There is so much to explore and learn about in the 5 courtyards of the Temple of Literature. Afterwards, you may walk over to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long which is close by!

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