The Temple of Literature

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Located at the south of Thang Long citadel, only 10 minutes from Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature is known as the oldest school in Vietnam, the top of the historical and beautiful sightseeing of the Vietnamese capital.

According to the history, during the 8th lunar month of the 1070, King Ly Thanh Tong built some important monuments which consist of the Temple of Literature and the carvings of Confucius and Chu Cong, four disciples, and 72 other scholars who were considered as model Confucians. Traditionally, the Crown Prince has been trained here. After that, in 1076, Vietnam's first university - Quoc Tu National University was constructed under the direction of King Ly Nhan Tong near the Temple of Literature with the purpose of building the children of Mandarins, the aristocrats, and the brightest commoners.

Up to present, with more than 900 years of existence, repairs and renovations, the Temple of Literature is still an example of well-protected traditional Vietnamese architecture. It preserves valued relics and these are things you can see when visiting the Temple: steles with inscriptions of the names of distinguished scholars, the Well of Heavenly Clarity (Thien Quang Tinh), the pavilion in dedication of the Constellation of Literature (Khue Van Cac), the statue of Confucius, the Great House of Ceremonies, the ancient walls, the sanctuary, the stone dragons, kowtow portico and the ink stone stands. Moreover, the ancient trees such as the frangipani and banyan which were present during literary meetings, festivals and examinations in Ly, Tran and Le dynasties, continue to flourish.

Tourists will often be impressive with the collection of 82 stone steles upon large stone tortoises. They were created between 1484 and 1780 and are engraved with the names, places of birth and achievements of the 1,306 doctor laureates who received their degrees during this time. A peaceful space, green ancient trees and solemnity cover the whole Temple which makes travelers feel they were lost in a land of Confucius. First time family travelers to Hanoi must see theunderstand the culture and traditions of Vietnam.

 

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