"Van Mieu (Temple of Literature)" Temple of Literature Tip by Blatherwick

Temple of Literature, Hanoi: 67 reviews and 173 photos

  Temple of Literature
by Blatherwick
 
  • Temple of Literature - Hanoi
      Temple of Literature
    by Blatherwick
  • Temple of Literature - Entrance - Hanoi
      Temple of Literature - Entrance
    by Blatherwick
  • Temple of Literature - Stele - Hanoi
      Temple of Literature - Stele
    by Blatherwick
 

the Temple of Literature, is the oldest school in Vietnam, giving it the distinction of being the most significant temple in both Hanoi and Vietnam. It was founded in 1070 by the emperor Ly Thanh Tong as a Confucian temple. Only parts of the Van Mieu complex date back to the earliest period, although much of the architecture dates to the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) Dynasties. In 1076, emperor Ly Thanh Tong established Vietnam's first university, the Quoc Tu Giam (National University), within the temple to educate Vietnam's mandarin class. The university functioned for more than 700 years, from 1076 to 1779.

What exists today is a series of four courtyards that served as an entrance to the university. Architecturally, it is a fine example of classic Chinese with Vietnamese influences. Particularly impressive is the collection of 82 stone stelae which rest 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 that received their degrees during this time span. These stelae were erected to encourage learning and bestow honor on the talented men who assisted the Kings in defending the country.

Address: Quoc Tu Giam St, Dong Da District
Phone: 04-845-2917

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 17, 2006
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