The Temple of Literature – the first university in Vietnam

The location of the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is located in Dong Da District, Hanoi, at the intersection of 4 main streets: Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ton Duc Thang, Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam. If you have a chance to have a Hanoi tour, then this is definitely the place you should visit.


The Temple of Literature

Entrance tickets

Currently, both tourists and Vietnamese people must buy tickets to enter the Temple of Literature. It costs 30,000 VND per person and has a discount of 50% for students and old people over 60 years old. For small children, the ticket is free. Accordingly, this price is quite cheap and suitable for both Vietnamese and foreign visitors during their Hanoi cycling tours.


Entrance tickets

The history of Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong, the site to worship Confucius, Chu Cong and Tu Phoi. In 1076, King Ly Nhan Tong founded Quoc Tu Giam, a university for the children of the King and noble families. At the time of King Tran Thai Tong, Quoc Tu Giam was renamed National Academic Institute and included the children of ordinary people with excellent academic performances.

In the post-Le dynasty, King Le Thanh Tong began to set up stelae for doctors. By the Nguyen Dynasty, Quoc Tu Giam was established in Hue. Thang Long Temple was rebuilt only the Temple of Literature of Northern areas, later changed to the Hanoi Temple of Literature.

The architecture of the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature relic complex covers an area of 54331 m2, including many small architectural works and is surrounded by wooden-hammer brick walls. After many times of reconstruction many remedies, this monument complex now includes Literature Lake, The Great Middle Gate, Constellation of Literature pavilion, Well of Heavenly Clarity, Stelae of Doctors, Attained Talent gate, and Thai Hoc House, all of which can be visited during any Hanoi cycling tours.


The architectural layout of the Temple of Literature

The classrooms in the East and the West have 14 blocks. In addition, there are three sets of 25 room dormitories, each dormitory for 2 people. The entire architecture of the Temple of Literature is now the architecture of the early Nguyen Dynasty. The temple complex is well-proportionately arranged for each zone and each area according to the North-South axis. The overall layout of the Temple of Literature is similar to the Temple to worship Confucius in China, however, the design is simpler and in the traditional way of national art.


The stelae of doctors

In front of the Temple of Literature, there is a large lake called the Literature Lake (Van Chuong Lake), formerly known as Thai Ho Lake. In the middle of the lake is Kim Chau mound, which was before a floor for sightseeing. The Gate of the Temple of Literature was built on three pathways, the word “Temple of Literature” is written by ancient Han. The Temple is divided into 5 distinct areas, each area has separated walls and gates connecting to the others.

The meaning of the Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is not only the first university in our country but also a candle that always burns and continues the studious tradition of Vietnamese people. By coming to this place during your Hanoi biking tours, you will be motivated by the stelae of the ancestors, filled with energy to believe in the journey of learning and exploring human knowledge.


The lucky handwriting of the Master

Moreover, the Temple of Literature is the place where the poetry meetings are organized. It is also a place to praise excellent students and a popular sightseeing destination for many national and international visitors when having a Hanoi day tour. At the same time, this is also where to ask for calligraphy pictures of the Hanoians in the traditional New Year with the hope of a happy new year; or in the important exam periods of the country. Because of having experienced many ups and downs of the history, some architectures here have been destroyed but the Temple of Literature is still considered as a symbol of education and cultural beauty of Vietnam.