The Temple of Literature ( Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám) is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The Temple of Literature was constructed as a place of learning rather than religion, and is known as Vietnam’s first national university. Originally, the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.
The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture.
Temple of Literature Highlights
The Temple of Literature is a place of study rather than a religious landmark. There are five courtyards at the temple, two brimming with landscaped gardens, the third is home to a large pond known as the the Well of Heavenly Clarity, the fourth courtyard is called the Sage Courtyard and features a statue of Confucius and a house of ceremonies, and the last courtyard is Thai Hoc in which stands a large drum and bell tower. This historic site is ranked as one of Hanoi’s most important cultural places and is steeped in Vietnamese history.
The layout of the temple is based upon the birthplace of Confucius with a magnificent main entrance and a path, once reserved solely for the king, running through the centre. The immaculate gardens are rich in ancient trees and are considered a serene place in which students can relax. There are stone statues and inscriptions dotted throughout the temple which has retained many of its original features as the most renowned landmark of academia in Vietnam.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 16:30
Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi
Price Range: VND 10,000
Entrance ticket : Bring 30,000 VND in cash. This is the current entrance fee for tourists, which equates to around $1.50 USD. Children under 15 are able to enter for free.
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