Temple of Literature – Image courtesy of Chuoibk/Wikimedia Commons
Introducing the Temple of Literature, Hanoi
Follow well-maintained pathways past scenic gardens and through ornate gates separating five large courtyards to the Temple of Literature and the National University (Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam).
Stroll around the Well of Heavenly Clarity, admire a series of pavilions, halls and statues that combine classic Chinese architecture with traditional Vietnamese influences, and see richly decorated altars dedicated to Confucius and his disciples.
Don’t miss the 82 stone stelae – stone diplomas – erected between 1484 and 1780, inscribed with the names and birthplaces of 1306 doctor laureates who successfully passed the university's rigorous examinations.
The Temple of Literature, known in Vietnamese as Van Mieu (literally Temple of the King Who Distinguished Literature), is a temple built in 1070 to worship the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
In 1076, an institute known as the Imperial Academy (Quoc Tu Giam) was established to teach the doctrines of Confucius and his disciples to Vietnam’s elite.
Considered Vietnam’s first national university, the Imperial Academy existed for more than 700 years as a centre for Confucian learning.
The Imperial Academy lost its prominence in 1802, following the Nguyen monarchs decision to found the capital of Hue where they established a new imperial academy.
Location: About 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake on Quoc Tu Giam Street
Admission: 5000VND, 3000VND for an English brochure
Hours: Daily 7:30am-5:30pm