Temple of Literature, Hanoi

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Temple of Literature

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 29, 2004

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    ornate Temple of Literature

    This is a quiet oasis right in the heart of busy and often hectic Hanoi. It is also one of the few remaining examples of ancient Vietnamese architecture and is considered perhaps the city’s greatest cultural sight. Founded in 1070, it became the country’s first university in 1076 to educate the sons of mandarins. A stelae naming the birth places and achievements of those receiving their doctorate here is one of the temple’s highlights. There are five separate courtyards and the complex is quite large so allow ample time to enjoy its contemplative grounds. Admission is 20,000 dong ($1.25) and open 8am-5pm daily.

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    The First University in Hanoi

    by bpacker Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    Entrance to the Temple of Literature

    This place existed for more than 700 years as a center for Confucian learning and it's a a must see for those who are interested in classical Chinese/vietanamese architecture.
    If you're there, look out for the 82 stone diplomas on tortoises bearing the names and birthplaces of 1,306 students who scrapped thru' the university's tough examinations. Like the one-pillar pagoda, some parts of this place was built after the original parts were destroyed during the French War.

    Admission Fee: 10,000 VND (US66¢)
    Opening Times: Daily 8am-5pm

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    Knowledge is life!

    by Gillybob Written Oct 23, 2006

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    Entrance in harmony

    The Temple of Literature is dedicated to Confucious. Founded in the 11th century, this is the site of Vietnam's first university, built to educate Vietnam's administrative and warrior classes. A visit here will leave you relaxed, even in the centre of Hanoi! The gardens and grounds are tranquil.

    Stone stalae record the achievements of past pupils in their acquisition of doctorates from this ancient university.

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    Temple of Literature

    by balhannah Updated Mar 25, 2011

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    Inside
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    This is History!

    The Temple of Literature was founded in the year 1070, and was dedicated to the Chinese Philosopher, CONFUCIOUS.
    In 1076, it became Vietnam's 1st University. An archeological study has found that the majority of the site belongs to Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225 - 1400), it really is very old.
    There are side passages between the five courtyards, and these were used by Royalty who entered through the main gate, and students had to enter via the side passage ways.
    The open pavillions in the courtyards were used for students to study. The 1st two courtyards are mainly gardens and trees, with the third courtyard being taken up by a large pond called 'The Well of heavenly clarity"

    On either sides, there are pavillions with steles which are sitting on top of a large Tortoise. These steles honour the schools successful doctorate candidates.

    The next courtyard is the Sage courtyard which is paved and has buildings on three sides. Here, is the "great house of ceremonies " and inside is a large lacquered statue of Confucious.

    The last courtyard is Thai Hoc, and here you find the large Drum and Bell Tower.
    We visited here on a city tour, and this made it all the more interesting as we were told the details of all we were looking at.

    ADMISSION IN 2011.....12,000 DONG
    CHILDREN UNDER 15 years of age are allowed in for free.
    BOOKLET.....3000Dong
    It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7.30 to 6 pm (8 am to 5 pm from November to March

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    Higher Learning

    by fachd Written Nov 30, 2007

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    The main entrance only for the Emperor
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    King Ly Thanh Tong founded the Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam the temple of Literature in 1070 to dedicate Confucius teachings and to pay tribute to education.

    Six years later became the first university of Vietnam and used for training talented men for the nation. It was a place for higher learning in the Mandarin tradition.

    In the temple there are number of courtyards which separated by wall and gates. In the courtyards you will see pond covered with lilies, bonzai trees. The complex is quite large. The temple is surrounded by picturesque garden, manicured lawn and large trees which provide shades. The middle footpath with low hedges in both sides will guide you to the different part of the temple.

    In either side of the temple there are large tortoises engrave with list of people who graduated with their names, dates and places of birth who achieved doctorates.

    The Temple of Literature with Chinese architecture is well kept considering it was built in the in the 11th century.

    After the hustle, bustle and the chaotic of Hanoi traffic, it was quite relieved to visit one of the tourist attractions as it was nice, quite and relaxing.

    Cost: 5,000 dong

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    Van Mieu

    by dancinbudgie Updated May 24, 2009

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    This beautiful temple was established in 1070 in honor of Confucious and was modelled on the original temple of Confiucious in China. It was the first Vietnamese University (established in 1076) and was to educate the sons of mandarins. The most important artefacts in the temple are the 'stelae' , stone tortoise pedestals, which list the names and birthplaces of scholars who recieved doctorates.
    We enjoyed walking around the grounds. It is very tranquil (even with the crowds) and a nice respite from the traffic. It is very leafy and green, and I imagine that it would be a wonderfully cool and pleasant place to be during the heat of summer.

    Open 7.30am-6pm April-September
    Open 8am-5pm October-March
    Admission 5000d

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    Temple of Literature

    by imstress Updated Jun 15, 2005

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    Temple of Literature

    Temple of Literature or Van Mieu is the oldest university in Vietnam and in the world. It has been recently restored.

    The original purpose was the worship of the sages and saints of Confusianism but was turned into a college 6 years later.

    The temple contains 5 courtyards connected to each other by portals. The main gate, Khue Van Ca (pavillion of Literature), Dai Thanh Mon (Gate of Great Synthesis), Thien Quang Tinh (the Well of Heaven's Clarity), 82 tortise carrying stone steles.

    It was belived that if you rub the head of all the 82 tortise steles, you will be blessed.

    Altars worshiping Confucius can be seen and there are sincere young worshippers that i have seen.

    Entrance fees 5,000 VND
    Broucher 3,000 VND

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    Literature and poesy in the old university

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    Main entrance
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    Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (the temple of literature) is one of the most famous places to visit in Hanoi, and this haven of peace in that hectic city has lots of calm and quietude to offer to the solitary visitor; the buildings, temples but also the gardens the water ponds, the trees and flowers.
    The temple has been originally built by Emperor Ly Tai To, in the 1tth century; the actual lay-out it a wide rectangle, which you enter through the Van Mieu Van gate, an ornate one arch gate surmounted by a three arch building, with typical Vietnamese decorations: roof with turned up corners and complicated sculptures. The name “temple of literature” has probably its origin as it was a university for princes and children of mandarins, where they learned arts, military science and poesy; the tourists nowadays use the central alley which only the emperor used to go in and the mandarins used the side alleys (and me too!).
    I do not know what the young ladies were waiting for at the entrance but they kindly posed for a photograph.
    You enter a central alley with two rectangular basins on each side (Picture 3); walk around and look at the pink lotus flowers (picture 4). A wall at the end of the first garden with small ornate doors (picture 5), but you will have to go through the Kue Van Cac Pavilion to reach the second garden (next “tip”)

    Entrance: 20000 VND

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    Khuc Van Cac Pavilion at the temple of Literature

    by guell Updated Nov 21, 2007

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    Khuc Van Cac Pavilion at the Temple of Literature

    The Temple of Literature is Vietnam’s historical seat of learning and is the most sacred place for the disciples of Confucius. It is one of the few remaining buildings from the original city founded by Emperor Ly Thanth Tong in the 11th century and is a well-preserved example of Vietnamese architecture. It became the site of the country’s first university in 1076. Consisting of a complex of small buildings and five walled courtyards, it was an exclusive establishment teaching the principles of Confucius. Over a period of 900 years thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from the university.

    Legend has it that scholars composed poems while drinking wine at The Khuc Van Cac Pavillion pictured here.

    Opening time: Open daily from 7.30am to 6pm (summer), and 8am to 5pm (winter)

    Admission: 12,000d, and 20,000d for an English-speaking guide

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    And here is the temple!

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    Dragon on the roof
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    Thai Huoc Duong is the temple dedicated to Confucius, and there are also Buddha statues. Like the other Buddhist temples, this one is very richly ornate. A beautiful dragon decorates the roof (main picture), inside, red lacquer and gold; I did not want to disturb the divinities (or mix up with the tourist group) and photographed the divinities from back (picture 2); Confucius deserves respect keeping so calm on his throne with all these visitors and photographers! (Picture 3). Buddha (picture 4) looks on.
    When I left, it was already night, and I had a look at the lotus flowers which were opening with darkness, like night beauties (picture 5)

    20000 VND

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    Seat of learning--Temple of Literature

    by Applelyn Written Apr 26, 2006

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    The Four High Pillars
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    In it, you can find a temple built in 1070 to worship the Philosopher Confucius and an institute established in 1076 to teach the doctrines of Confucius. The temple of literature testifies the cultural heritage from China and represents independence and national culture and values. You can see a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese influences on its architecture. Its 82 stone diplomas with tortoises were erected between 1484 and 1780 to bear the names of its 1306 Laureates. Some parts of the temple were destroyed during the War and was reconstructed but as a whole, it still tells the original story. Admission fee is 5000VND and an English brouchure is 3000VND. It opens daily from 8am to 5pm.

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    Second garden and the tortoises

    by kokoryko Written Jan 19, 2008

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    Kue Van Cac Pavilion
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    To enter the second garden you pass through the Kue Van Cac Pavilion, a beautiful little building with sun-shaped windows, fine sculptures, and a nice setting between the gardens. In the second yard, or garden is a big basin (representing the celestial light) in front of the yard bordering Dien Thanh Bai Druong, the halls with the 82 steles; in the 15th century an emperor ordered to build the steles in honour of the best students of the university; the steles are built on tortoises which represent patience, humility and longevity (pictures 3 & 4).
    Look back to the Kue Van Cac Pavilion before entering the next yard and the temple itself (Thai Hoc Duong) above the celestial light (picture 5).

    20000 VND

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    A Must See Place if You Are a Scholar

    by neurochic Updated Nov 28, 2005

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    Temple Entrance
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    The Temple of Literature is an amazing place and a must see place if you like history and are a scholar. It is the first university in Vietnam and its wonderful that much of it was not damaged by the Vietnamese War. Being a physician, I've been in school for many years so this place for me was special to imagine what it must have been like many centuries ago to train to be a scholar. You will find these large turtles there that have listed all the names of the students who attended the university. Also in a building in the back of the compound you will find a traditional Vietnamese band that plays beautiful classical Vietnamese music on ancient traditional instruments that you can buy if you like. Furthermore they also have a building that sells artwork from modern day students. The other thing that is so amazing about this place is that it supports the teachings of a new generation. As you walk around the compound, you will find many modern day art students sketching pictures of the many buildings in the compound. Also make sure to check out the awesome ancient trees that are all over the compound. By the way it cost 5000 dong per person to enter. Furthermore there is a shrine to Confucius in the compound too.

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    The temple of Literature

    by SirRichard Written Oct 6, 2003

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    A view of the garden

    This nice beautiful temple is an oasis in the traffic chaotic Hanoi streets.
    Founded in 1070, it was dedicated to Confucious and literature famous men. It housed Vietnam's 1st University in 1076.
    It has several buildings and patios, all of them beautiful, but I can't tell U what's inside, as I arrived late and couldn't visit it :-((

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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Temple of Literature…”Van Mieu” is a MUST SEE !!

    by Greggor58 Written Jun 6, 2010

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    Temple of Literature,Ha Noi,Vietnam.
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    The Temple of Literature was for me, the single most enjoyable “sight” that I was able to spend time at during my brief stay in Ha Noi.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the few hours that I took to walk the grounds here. Van Mieu or the Temple of Literature as it is commonly known as offers a small sanctuary in the heart of the city, its peaceful, beautiful, and in my mind screams “Serenity”.

    I spent time here wandering around, taking photos and just soaking up as much of the ambiance that I could. I didn’t rush this at all. I spent time talking with a man that had shared our train berth North to Lao Cai…he recognized me amidst the small crowd and we connected again here and swapped stories about our travels in the Sa Pa region of Vietnam. I sat and wrote some postcards in the Courtyard of the Sage Sanctuary and explored some more.

    Van Mieu is one of, if not , the oldest surviving structures of Ha Noi, having been established in the year 1070,orignaly built to honor Confucius, as a place of worship.
    Within a few years this revered place took on a different role, that being a place of education for the growing numbers of mandarins involved in civil service, essentially becoming Vietnam's first university.

    The temple design is modeled after The Temple of Confucius in the Chinese city of Qufu and is designed to include five different courtyards. Each courtyard is separated by walls and ornamental gateways (each gateway possessing its own elaborate name) and pathways that lead you successively through each gate, and into the next courtyard.

    The main elements of this site are the Khue Van Cac Pavillion and the Well of Heavenly Clarity where you will see the remaining steale that line the sides of the pond that are inscribed with the names and birth places, and accomplishments of some of the “graduates” of the school. The Great House of Ceremonies and the Dai Thanh sanctuary are also main features as well as two smaller structures that house a large drum and in the other, a large brass bell.

    The entrance fee for the complex is a staggering 10 000 Dong…about a half dollar USA…

    Access hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 16:30…

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