The Temple of Literature: A must-visit monument of Vietnam
The Temple of Literature is one of Vietnam’s special National Monuments and is the pride of the Vietnamese. Because of its long history and culture, the relic has become a popular place for tourists.
At the same time, this is also where students and parents go to pray for luck before stressful entrance exams.
About The Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is at 58 Van Mieu street, Dong Da district, Hanoi. Four streets surround the Temple of Literature:
- Quoc Tu Giam street
- Ton Duc Thang street
- Nguyen Thai Hoc street
- Van Mieu street
History says that King Ly Thanh Tong built the Temple of Literature in 1070 to honor the Confucian sages.
Next to the Temple of Literature, Quoc Tu Giam (Imperial Academy) was built in 1076, and it became Vietnam’s first university.
During the time of King Tran Thai Tong, the Imperial Academy changed its name and began to accept the children of commoners with excellent academic performance.
During the time after the dynastic Le, King Le Thanh Tong started putting up steles for students who had graduated from the university.
Not every built stele will last forever, without damage, without loss. However, at the end of the Le Dynasty, the Canh Hung Dynasty, the steles were still engraved regularly.
The unique architecture of The Temple of Literature, Imperial Academy
Besides its cultural, artistic, and historical values, the Temple of Literature has distinctive features, especially capturing the zeitgeist of that time.
The Temple of Literature, Imperial Academy relic complex covers 54,331 square meters and has a lot of different buildings.
After many renovations, this place still has several works, including Ho Van, Temple of Literature, Dai Trung Mon, Khue Van Cac, Thien Quang well, Doctors’ steles, Dai Thanh Mon, and Thai Hoc house. The Temple of Literature was divided into five courtyards.
The Eastern philosophy of yin and yang significantly impacts the architecture of The Temple of Literature, Imperial Academy.
Yin-yang represents the interference of the universe, taking people as the center, and the architecture of this monument has profoundly proven that truth.
The areas of the Temple of Literature were built along a central axis, with the combination of Heaven – Earth – Human, the harmony of heaven and earth at one point.
Aside from that, the feng shui philosophy also covered even the most minor parts of the Imperial Academy relic site.
With three large steles established in 1484, 1653, and 1717, today, there are 82 steles left in the Doctor’s stone tablets garden.
Even though it doesn’t have the same number as the original, these stelae are still vital to history and culture.
In 2010, UNESCO recognized the stelae at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi as a World Documentary Heritage.
Opening times and fares at
The Temple of Literature is open every day of the week, even on weekends and holidays.
– From April 15 to October 15: from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
– From October 16 to April 14: from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The ticket price to see the Temple of Literature is 30,000 VND per time, but free or 50% off for some particular subjects.
The ticket price is inexpensive and tourists from other countries should come here at least once in a lifetime to see how the first university in Vietnam was built.
How to get to the Temple of Literature
You can take any transportation you want to get to the Temple of Literature. Most Vietnamese will take regular buses or double-decker buses.
You can also rent bicycles from tour operators to make your time there more fun. You could also try driving to the Temple of Literature if you know how to ride a motorbike.
However, this is not a recommended option for people unfamiliar with the streets of Vietnam.
Also, you can use apps like Grab, Gojek, etc., to book motorbike taxis or cars, it is very convenient and safe.
What food and drink should you get near the Temple of Literature
After visiting the historical and cultural relics of The Temple of Literature, Imperial Academy, remember to discover Hanoi’s cuisine.
Around this place, which is close to the old town, where the best Ha Noi food is, there are a lot of delicious specialties that visitors can try.
– Quail egg with minced meat porridge: 20 Luong Su C lane, Quoc Tu Giam street.
– Mixed fish vermicelli: 32 Thinh Hao alley 1, Ton Duc Thang street.
– Pancake Vietnam: 29 Ton Duc Thang street.
Things you must pay attention to when visiting the Temple of Literature
When you go to The Temple of Literature, there are a few things you should remember:
– Wear clothes that are polite and not too revealing.
– Saunter, keep order, and preserve hygiene while at the monument.
– Do not smoke, and do not bring any items that are not allowed in the Temple of Literature.
– Do not write or draw on architectural works that damage this place’s cultural, historical, and architectural values.
Come to The Temple of Literature, Imperial Academy, whenever you have time. You will be satisfied with the unique architecture of this famous landmark.
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