The stelae of doctors can be found in a building to one side of the third courtyard. Emperor Ly Thanh Tong erected erected 116 steles of carved blue stone turtles with elaborate motifs which honored talent and encouraged study. This was in 1484 and the turtle is considered one of the nation's four holy creatures along with the unicorn, dragon and phoenix. The turtle is a symbol of longevity and wisdom. Today 82 stelae remain and the names of 1307 graduates are inscribed on them, along with their birth places . The graduates passed their exams from 1442 -17 and 1779, 81 exams held under the Le dynasty and one under the Mac dynasty. The reasons for holding the exams are inscribed in Chinese characters as well as praising the monarchs. The names of the mandarins who organised the exams are also inscribed. People used to rub the turtle's head for luck but now they cannot do this as the stelae are cordoned off.
One of the most famous temples in Hanoi is the Temple of Literature which honors Confucius and was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong Dynasty. The temple became the earliest university in Vietnam and nowadays many students who have just graduated go there in their togas to have their photograph taken. The temple is divided into 5 courtyards, each of which is important and hs its own history.
The first stretches from the main gate to Dai Trung gate, the second contains Khue Van Cac pavilion, the third is where the doctors’ names are listed on a tombstone above tortoise backs the fourth is dedicated to Confucius and his 72 honored students, while the fifth is Thai Hoc house (the first university.
It is open 8.30 am-6.30 pm every day of the week but closed for lunch between 11.30 and 13.30. There is a small entrance fee of 30-40,000 dong.
The Temple of Literature hosts the Imperial Academy which was Vietnam’s first national university and you will find that Confucius is worshiped in the building, Thuong Dien which is in the fourth courtyard. On either side of Confucius sits two of his closest disciples, Yanhui, Zengshen, Zisi and Mencius. There are also ten altars for some honored philosophers. There is also a little museum where you can see pens, ink wells and book that used to belong to the students.
The Temple of Literature is the place where students come to have their graduation photographs taken. It is the custom that their photographs are taken here before they leave college or university. The students are either in their Vietnamese dress or in their graduation caps and gowns. They will also kneel before Confucius to thank him for their good fortune in their studies.
V?n Mi?u, wrongly called the Temple of Literature, was Vietnams first university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông. One of several temples in Vietnam dedicated to Confucius.
This is the best destination in Hanoi capital. Spend 3 - 4 hours to visit, you will know everything about the first university of Vietnam - named Quoc Tu Giam
Literature temple also have free tour guide for you
The ticket for adult : 30.000 VN? nearly $1.5
Open : 8am
Close : 5.30 pm
for more information about literature temple: click here : http://goterest.com/place/ha-noi/van-mieu-quoc-tu-giam
Van Mieu, the Temple of Literature, is Hanoi's oldest university. Or rather: it was a university. Founded in 1070 (!) and dedicated to Confucius, Van Mieu was the main centre of education for Vietnamese mandarins who were educated there for several centuries. In the 15th century, Emperor Le Thanh Tong declared that stelae should be placed for everybody being conferred a doctorate. Therefore you now see 82 stelae with the inscriptions of 1304 doctor laureates in the temple, all of which are placed on the back of a tortoise. In Vietnamese mythology, the tortoise, the unicorn, the dragon and the phoenix are holy animals. It is said that the placement of stelae signifies "everlasting respect to talent".
Nowadays, Van Mieu is above all an oasis of tranquility amidst Hanoi's neverending traffic chaos. Although it is surrounded by three highly frequented main roads, you can enjoy a break at Van Mieu without even noticing that there are thousands of motorbikes rushing by just behind the walls of the temple.
Furthermore, Van Mieu is architecturally very interesting. In the five yards of Van Mieu you can experience different stages of Vietnamese architecture. There are for instance the two horse dismounting stelae in front of the temple where those who wanted to enter the temple had to dismount their horse. Between the first and the second yard, you can marvel at the beautiful Great Middle Gate. In the third yard, the 82 stelae surround the Well of Heavenly Clarity. The fourth yard comes up with the Courtyard of the Sage - it is here where Confucius and other sages are worshipped. In the fifth yard you can see what was the study room some centuries ago. A model of the temple and several old photographs are displayed in the building at the very end of the yards.
For more information, don't miss my Local Customs tip.
The landmark contains numerous courtyards and pavilions, here, you will see the courtyards has good maintenance. This ancient Confucian sanctuary is now considered one of Hanoi's finest historical and cultural sites
Though having gone through lots of restoration work, the temple still retains its very first original shape, to be one of the visit worthy sightseeings of Hanoi, captivating to a huge number of tourists elsewhere.
A space of peace, green trees and solemnity covers the whole temple of historical and traditional love for study, making tourists feel like they were lost in a land of Confucion and traditional values. If you are in Hanoi, you should really come and explore it yourself
Coming here, you might see many Vietnamese students visiting the places as a ritual for good luck before they enter an important exam such as the entrance exam into college.
The temple of literature is dated back to 1070 and is the oldest university in Hanoi and was for centuries the place where the emperor recruited his mandarins for his goverment.
It's dedicated to confucius and his ideas were taught there.
These days it's a national monument and open to the public and very interesting to see.
It's pretty much in the center of Hanoi and quite easy to get to.
It consists of four courtyards with the last one having a temple dedicated to Confucius and there is a statue of him in there.
This is such an amazing place to visit in Hanoi. This is not a temple but a huge compound with beautiful gates, lakes, courtyard, museum, and etc. It was the first Vietnam University back in 1070 built by King Ling Ly Nha Tong to dedicate Confucius, Sages, and Scholars. It had been reconstructed by several dynasties due to war and other disasters. Until now, it is still one of the most important venues for people of Vietnam to host cultural and educational events.
Several attraction including Turtle Steles, Well of Heavenly Clarity, Lake of Literature, and Constellation of Literature Pavilion.
Opening hours: 8am-5pm everyday.
Don't miss this place!!
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.
It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7.30 to 6 pm (8 am to 5 pm from November to March
The Temple of Literature, built in 1070, was a temple to Confucius. It was also Viet Nam’s first university and functioned for more than 700 years, from 1076 to 1779, educating the country's nobles, royalty, mandarins and other elite. Those who graduated had their names engrave on the stone stele that sit on large stone turtles in the temple.
The temple consists of a series of 5 landscaped courtyards. The first two are primarily gardens. The third one has a lotus pond and the stellae. The final courtyard holds the shrine to Confucius.