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Home >> Vietnam >> Hanoi >> Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

One of the oldest sights in Hanoi is theTemple of Literature,Vietnam’s foremost monument to education. The architecture constructed in 1070 was first to honor Chinese philosopher Confucius, who’s thoughts gave the country not little influence. Later Quoc Tu Giam, the firstuniversityofVietnamwas built in the area as well. It became a complex after years of construction, now it is an ancient historical and cultural heritage which gives tourists deeper understanding aboutHanoi's years of culture and tradition.

Situated about 10 minutes away from theHoanKiemLake,TempleofLiteratureis divided into five court yards. The first two courtyards are basically gardens with ancient trees and well-trimmed lawns. At the very middle of the third courtyard is a walled pond called “Well of Heavenly Clarity”, either side of which stand two great halls which house the true treasures of the complex--82 stone steles sitting upon stone tortoises, recording the names, birth places and achievements of 1306 men who were awarded doctorates from the triennial examinations held here at the Quoc Tu Giam (“National University”) between the 15th and 18th centuries. The fourth courtyard once contained alters of 72 of Confucius greatest students but which are now occupied by gift shops and a museum exhibiting the past classes’ paraphernalia; at the far end of the courtyard is the altar with statues of Confucius and his four closest disciples. At the very end of the temple complex stands the fifth courtyard, the site of theVietnam's first university founded in 1076, destroyed by bombs in the late 1940s and reconstructed in 2000.

If you're interested in Vietnamese culture, theTempleofLiteratureis recommended to be added to your visiting list inHanoi. You may see Vietnamese students visiting the places as a ritual for good luck before important examinations taking place.

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