Temple of Literature in Hanoi - First Imperial Academy of Vietnam

Temple of Literature included two different areas named Van Mieu (Temple), built-in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong, and Quoc Tu Giam (Literature) was built in 1076, under King Ly Nhan Tong.

 

1. History Temple of Literature

This is also the first Imperial academy of Vietnam and in South East Asia. This project was built to encourage studying the people and seeking talent to serve the country. This always belongs to one of the best places to visit in Hanoi.

It had five different courtyards connected into a harmonized architecture complex with an axis going through from the beginning to the end. With 300 meters in length and 61 meters in width, the front gate faces the South.

At first, this was a school for the children of royal family children of mandarin in the Court. Later open for all people in society.
Three-door gates have two storages, 8 roofs, and open three doors
The main gate of Tam Quan was only opened for the King and senior mandarins on grand ceremonies while the students and ordinary people go through two small gates.

 

temple of literature in hanoi main gate 

Temple of Literature Hanoi main gate

2. Architecture Temple of Literature

The scared internal of Temple was separated from the outside by a strong brick wall, divide five different compartments into five essential elements: Kim (metal) – Mộc (wood) – Thủy (water) – Hỏa (fire) –Thổ (earth).

2.1. The first courtyard - Dai Trung Mon

Visitors can see two big lakes here as the two dragon eyes pond in front. Then visitors can see two small gates, Thanh Duc (acquiring virtue) and Dai Tai (achieving talent), on the right side. This had a deep meaning that learning hard will help students become qualified men both virtue and talent then serve King and local people.
 

dai trung mon

Dai Trung Mon

2.2. The second courtyard – Khue Van Cac Pavilion

It was built in 1805 under Nguyen Dynasty. Although Khe Van Cac is constructed not simultaneously with other items, it's very harmonious with the whole complex and has become a symbol of Hanoi capital and used on the backside of 100.000 Vietnam dong banknote.

Khue Van means brightest stars in the sky (total of 28 stars), the constellation of literature, education, and examination.

 

temple of literature hanoi 1 

Our clients take a photo with Khue Van Cac Pavilion.

 

2.3. The third courtyard - Thien Quang well

The Well of Heavenly Clarity itself harmonized components of the complex. The square shape symbolizes the land, while the circle on the top of the Khue Van Cac pavilion symbolizes the sky, altogether creating a harmonization between sky and ground.

Next, visitors will see 82 Stelae of Doctors made by stone and carried by stone turtles, which is unique in the world – UNESCO recognized as a World Documentary Heritage site 2015.

This was list name, home town and the year's they are successful in the examination. This is a big honor for them, and their family also encourages others to follow their examples to become talented people.

There are 82 stelae of Doctors list 1307 graduate from Pre court completions Exam of 82 Doctors sessions in the Le dynasty from 1442 – 1779. From their examinations, there were individuals whose names have become brilliant in national history.

Why turtles? The answer is in Vietnamese culture, turtles in one of 4 mascots (include: Long- Dragon, Ly – Unicorn, Quy – Turtle, Phung – Phonix) each animal symbol for different meaning and Turtles is the only real animal and it symbol for longevity.

thien quang well

Thien Quang well 

2.4. The fourth courtyard – Dai Thanh Mon

The structure of Dai Thanh Mon is similar to Dai Trung Mon. It was built on August 1070 and rebuilt in 1888 under the Nguyen dynasty. They also worship Confucius and 72 famous students (insider). This is a forbidden area. Only the deputy header of Temple and King can visit inside and open only on special occasions. That's why in the middle of the sanctuary outside, visitors can see the typical altar of Vietnam for the students can pray.
 

 temple of literature hanoi vietnam

A family visit Dai Thanh Mon

2.5. The fifth courtyard - Thai Hoc House

Here is the venue of training and teaching for talented people of the country. Formerly, here is very large. In 1946 French colonial was destroyed. After visiting Thai Hoc, visitors can visit the back house (last house) with two floors made of wood. In the middle of the first floor worship Chu Van An – The greatest teacher ever in Vietnam and also first Deputy Headmaster of Literature.

On the second floor, worship 3 Kings – who had an outstanding contribution to the Temple. Each statue was 1,4 meters high and 1 ton in weight made by bonze: (from left to right) Ly Thanh Tong found Temple in 1070, Ly Nhan Tong found Literature- national University and Le Thanh Tong who set up built 82 stellar stones remained until now.
 

>>> Read more: Temple of Literature - Top 5 things event local people don't know

3. Basic information of Temple of Literature

Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam – Dong Da – Hanoi
Phone number: 024 3747 2566

3.1. Temple of literature Hanoi opening hours

  • Summer: (From April 15th - October 15th) 7:30 am - 17:30 pm

  • Winter: (From October 16th - April 14th) 8:00 am - 17:00 pm

3.2. Temple of literature Hanoi entrance fee and dress code

  • Entrance fee: 30.000vnd (1,2 USD) for visitors
  • Students: 15.000vnd (0,7USD) Student card required
  • Children under 15: Free
     

temple of literature entrance fee 

Temple of Literature entrance fee

Temple of Literature Hanoi dress code: Tank top and miniskirt not allowed. Take off the hat and sunglasses inside the sanctuary area. Do not touch artifacts, relics. Do not speak loudly, litter, make noise.

3.3. Imperial academy

As mentioned, this is also the first Imperial Academy in Vietnam. In the beginning, only to educate Vietnam's bureaucrats, nobles, royalty, and other elite members.

Later, from the 13th century, we open for everyone talent people can study (if pass four important examination). Then, after graduated can serve the King and nation.

This Imperial academy is opening until 1779. When the Nguyen dynasty moved the capital from Hanoi to Hue, and they established a new imperial academy. The academy at the Hanoi lost its prominence and became a school of the Hoài Đức District.

 

imperial academy 

Imperial academy

4. Tips for visit Temple of Literature

How to get there: From Hanoi old quarter, visitors can walk or go by Xich Lo (cyclo) about 3km.
Should bring cash, in here do not accept payment by credit card
Photography is allowed, but be respectful. Visitors should not laugh and talk too loud in the statuary area.
Do not smoke in the worship area.
We want to recommend you should hire the audio guide (available in eight languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Chinese) in the entry, and it will help you understand the culture of Vietnamese people and also the history of education. The price from 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND/ unit (1.3 USD – 2.2 USD).

5. Temple of Literature reopen again on February 15th, 2022 

From February 15th, all cultural and historical relics in Hanoi such as the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, Tran Quoc pagoda...are allowed to reopen to welcome guests. after nearly 2 years of closed because of the covid pandemic. The management unit manages the opening to welcome visitors following the epidemic prevention process according to the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Comply with the Ministry of Health is a 5K message, measure body temperature before visiting the relic.



You might want to visit some attractions nearby:
>>> Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex - Complete guide
>>> Hoa Lo prison - Hell on the earth or Hanoi Hilton hotel
>>> Vietnam Military History Museum - One of the most famous museums in Hanoi

>>> Read more Hanoi tours with the best prices, services, and itinerary
Go Viet Trip hope this article will help you understand more about Hanoi if you need any more help. Please feel free to contact us: Email: Goviettrip@gmail.com or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.

Author Hoan Nguyen

He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.

 

 Photos: Go Viet Trip & Internet

 

author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.
 

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