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Temple of Literature Hanoi: Timeless Haven for Vietnamese Literature and Confucianism

Posted By: Paul O'Neill / Vietnam Travel Guides
Temple of Literature Hanoi is a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam, known for its historical significance and architectural beauty. It is also known as the House of Literature and the Confucius Temple Hanoi. Visitors can explore its tranquil gardens, admire ancient statues, and learn about the country's rich literary traditions. The temple is open during specific hours, allowing tourists to immerse themselves in Vietnam's cultural heritage.

Temple of Literature Hanoi

Temple of Literature Hanoi

Temple of Literature Hanoi - (Source: Collected)

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam, also known as Văn Miếu or Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám, is a historical and cultural site that holds great significance in Vietnamese history. Established in 1070 during the reign of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông, the temple served as Vietnam's first university and was dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars.

History and Architecture

The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 when Vietnam was under the rule of the Lý Dynasty. It served as a center of Confucianism and education in the country. Its architecture reflects traditional Vietnamese construction techniques and designs, with an emphasis on symmetry and harmony.

The temple complex is divided into five courtyards. The first courtyard is called the Great Portico or Dai Trung Mon, which leads to the second courtyard, Khue Van Cac, featuring the iconic Pond of Literature.

The third courtyard, Thien Quang Tinh, houses the Stelae of Doctors – stone tablets mounted on the backs of stone turtles, inscribed with the names and birthplaces of successful candidates in the ancient imperial examinations. These exams were held at the temple to determine the most talented scholars of the time.

The fourth courtyard, the Well of Heavenly Clarity or Thien Quang Tinh, is where the Pavilion of Constellation of Literature, also known as Thái Học Pavilion, stands. This picturesque pavilion was once used for lectures and discussions among scholars.

Finally, the fifth courtyard, Quốc Tử Giám, is the main area of the temple where the Confucius statue is enshrined.

Importance and Significance

The Temple of Literature represents the profound influence that Confucianism had on Vietnamese society and education. It was not only a place for academic activities but also a symbol of intellectual achievement and the pursuit of knowledge.

The imperial examinations held at the temple were rigorous and highly competitive, aiming to select the best scholars to serve in the government. Graduates from the temple's university system went on to hold influential positions in Vietnamese society.

Today, the Temple of Literature is not only a tourist attraction but also a venue for cultural and educational activities. It houses the Imperial Academy, which is a museum that displays artifacts related to Confucianism and ancient Vietnamese education.

Literature Hanoi

Literature in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, has a rich and vibrant history. As a city deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture, Hanoi has been instrumental in nurturing and promoting literature throughout the centuries.

Traditional Vietnamese Literature

Traditional Vietnamese literature dates back to the ancient times, with notable works such as "The Tale of Kieu" by Nguyen Du and "Truyen Kieu" by Nguyen Quang Lap. These literary works have played a significant role in shaping the Vietnamese language and cultural identity.

Hanoi, as the cultural and intellectual center of Vietnam, has been home to many renowned writers, poets, and scholars. The city's vibrant literary community and its historical significance have inspired numerous works of literature, poetry, and prose.

Contemporary Literary Scene

In modern-day Hanoi, the literary scene continues to thrive. The city is home to a diverse community of writers, poets, and literary enthusiasts who contribute to the richness of Vietnamese literature.

Various literary events, such as book launches, poetry readings, and writing workshops, take place in Hanoi on a regular basis. These events provide platforms for aspiring writers to showcase their work and engage with the literary community.

Many publishing houses and literary magazines are based in Hanoi, further supporting the growth and dissemination of literature in the city. These platforms play a crucial role in promoting and preserving Vietnamese literature.

Temple of Literature Hanoi Vietnam

Temple of literature Hanoi: Wonders of the world, Hanoi

Temple of literature Hanoi: Wonders of the world, Hanoi - (Source: Collected)

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam, is a significant cultural and historical landmark that represents the country's deep-rooted traditions and commitment to education. Located in the heart of the capital, it attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Visitor Experience

Visitors to the Temple of Literature in Hanoi experience a unique blend of history, culture, and spirituality. The tranquil atmosphere and architectural beauty of the temple complex make it a popular destination for tourists seeking to explore Vietnam's rich heritage.

Upon entering the temple, visitors are greeted by beautifully landscaped gardens and ancient trees, creating a serene ambiance. The intricate details of the pavilions, halls, and courtyards reflect the architectural mastery of the time and provide a glimpse into Vietnam's past.

Inside the temple, visitors can explore the various courtyards, marvel at the Stelae of Doctors, and pay homage to the Confucius statue. The temple's museum, the Imperial Academy, offers a deeper understanding of Vietnamese education and Confucianism through its exhibitions and artifacts.

Special Events and Festivals

The Temple of Literature hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most significant events is the Vietnamese New Year, known as Tet. During this time, the temple is adorned with lanterns, flowers, and traditional decorations, creating a festive atmosphere.

Additionally, the temple serves as a venue for academic ceremonies and graduation ceremonies for students in Hanoi. These events further emphasize the temple's role as a center of education and intellectual pursuit.

Temple of Literature Hanoi Opening Hours

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam, welcomes visitors throughout the week. To accommodate tourists and locals, the temple has set specific opening hours that allow for exploration and appreciation of its historical and cultural significance.

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

The Temple of Literature is open from 8:30am to 6:00pm every day, including weekends and public holidays. These hours provide ample time for visitors to explore the temple complex and its surrounding areas at a leisurely pace.

Tickets can be purchased at the entrance of the temple, and the prices vary depending on the visitor's age and nationality. For Vietnamese citizens, the ticket price is generally lower compared to international tourists.

It is advisable to check the temple's official website or contact the temple authorities directly for any updates or changes in the opening hours, especially during national holidays or special events.

Confucius Temple Hanoi

Best Things to Do in Hanoi

Best Things to Do in Hanoi - (Source: Collected)

The Confucius Temple in Hanoi, Vietnam, is often referred to as the Confucian Temple or the Temple of Confucius. Located within the Temple of Literature complex, this shrine is dedicated to Confucius, the renowned Chinese philosopher.

History and Significance

The Confucius Temple was constructed in 1070, concurrently with the establishment of the Temple of Literature. Its purpose was to honor and venerate Confucius, who was regarded as the epitome of virtue and wisdom.

The temple played a pivotal role in Vietnamese education, as it was within its premises that Confucian teachings were imparted to students. In addition, the temple served as a sacred space for worship and contemplation.

Architecture and Features

The Confucius Temple features traditional Vietnamese architectural elements, which can be observed in the design of the main hall and surrounding structures. The buildings are characterized by their ornate details, vibrant colors, and graceful lines.

One of the notable features of the Confucius Temple is the statue of Confucius himself. The statue is positioned in the main hall, surrounded by incense burners and offerings from devotees who come to pay their respects.

The temple also houses several altars and shrines dedicated to Confucius' disciples and other revered figures in Confucianism. Visitors can witness the intricate rituals and offerings made by devotees during their visit to the temple.

Overall, the Confucius Temple is a place of cultural and spiritual significance, offering visitors a glimpse into the Confucian traditions that have shaped Vietnam's history and values.

The Temple of Literature in Hanoi

A Brief History

The Temple of Literature, also known as Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám, is a renowned historical and cultural site in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was originally built in 1070 during the reign of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông as a Confucian temple and later became Vietnam's first national university.

Architectural Beauty

The Temple of Literature is renowned for its splendid architectural design, reflecting traditional Vietnamese style. The complex consists of five courtyards, each with its own unique features. The main entrance leads to the first courtyard, adorned with beautiful gardens and ancient trees.

The Well of Heavenly Clarity

Within the first courtyard lies the Well of Heavenly Clarity, surrounded by a circle of stones. It is believed that if visitors drop a coin into the well and it hits a stone, their wishes will come true.

The House of Ceremonies

Continuing further into the grounds, visitors reach the second courtyard, which houses the House of Ceremonies. This traditional Vietnamese structure was used for important rituals and ceremonies during the temple's educational times. It now serves as a repository for ancient artifacts and historical documents.

The Sage Courtyard

Next is the third courtyard, known as the Sage Courtyard, where stone steles mounted on the backs of turtles carry the names of successful scholars who passed the royal examinations. These steles showcase the intellectual achievements of scholars from different dynasties.

The Pavilion of Stelae

The fourth courtyard hosts the famous Pavilion of Stelae, also referred to as the House of Constellation of Literature. This pavilion contains over 80 stone steles carved with the names and achievements of exceptional scholars. It is a truly awe-inspiring sight for visitors.

The Altar of Literature

The final courtyard is home to the Altar of Literature, a shrine dedicated to Confucius and his disciples. This section of the temple is where ceremonies and rituals honoring Confucianism take place.

Preserving Tradition

The Temple of Literature has undergone various renovations throughout history, always striving to preserve its cultural and historical significance. The meticulous preservation efforts have allowed visitors to experience the temple and its rich heritage up close.

Tourism and Cultural Significance

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi, the Temple of Literature attracts visitors from all over the world. It serves not only as a historical site but also as a center for academic and cultural activities.

Hanoi Confucius Temple


Hanoi's Confucius Temple, also known as Đại Mạc Confucius Temple, is a site devoted to worshiping Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and educator. It is an important cultural and spiritual destination for those seeking insight into Confucian teachings.

Architecture and Design

The Confucius Temple in Hanoi follows the typical design of Confucius temples found in China. The complex is composed of several buildings, including the main sanctuary, side halls, and courtyards.

The Main Sanctuary

The main sanctuary of the Confucius Temple features a traditional Chinese architectural style, with a sloping roof adorned with vibrant colored tiles. Inside, a statue of Confucius is enshrined and worshipped.

The Side Halls

Adjacent to the main sanctuary are various side halls that exhibit traditional Chinese elements. These halls house tablets with inscriptions of Confucius' teachings and memorabilia related to his life.

The Courtyards

The temple complex boasts serene courtyards, adorned with beautiful gardens, trees, and stone statues. These courtyards provide spaces for visitors to relax, meditate, and appreciate the tranquility of Confucian teachings.

Preservation and Rituals

Hanoi's Confucius Temple has been well-preserved throughout the years, maintaining its original charm and architectural integrity. Regular rituals and ceremonies are held at the temple to pay respect to Confucius and celebrate Confucian traditions.

Visiting Hanoi's Confucius Temple

For those interested in exploring the rich Confucian heritage, a visit to Hanoi's Confucius Temple is highly recommended. It offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, allowing visitors to delve into the wisdom of Confucianism.

House of Literature Hanoi

Explore the Rich History of Hanoi's Temple of Literature

Explore the Rich History of Hanoi's Temple of Literature - (Source: Collected)

A Historical Haven

The House of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam, also known as Vietnam National University, holds immense historical and cultural significance. Founded in 1076, it was Vietnam's first national university established within the Temple of Literature.

Education in Ancient Vietnam

The House of Literature played a crucial role in establishing and maintaining educational standards throughout ancient Vietnam. It provided a place for scholars to study, exchange knowledge, and take part in examinations.

Curriculum and Education System

During its existence, the House of Literature focused on Confucianism and the teachings of various Chinese scholars. The curriculum included subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, and administrative skills.

The Imperial Examinations

The House of Literature was renowned for hosting imperial examinations, which were competitive tests held to select scholars for government positions. These examinations played a vital role in shaping Vietnam's intellectual elite.

Promoting Literature and Intellectual Excellence

The House of Literature aimed to cultivate literary talent and promote intellectual excellence throughout Vietnam. It served as a center for literary activities, poetry competitions, and the exchange of scholarly works.

Restoration and Preservation

Over the centuries, the House of Literature faced various challenges, including wars and natural disasters. However, extensive restoration efforts have been undertaken to preserve its original architecture and cultural value.

Attracting Visitors

Today, the House of Literature attracts visitors from all walks of life, including locals, tourists, and scholars. The site provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich educational and literary traditions of Vietnam's past.

Exploring Hanoi's cultural and historical landmarks is incomplete without a visit to the Temple of Literature, Hanoi Confucius Temple, and House of Literature. These sites offer a deep understanding of Vietnam's intellectual heritage, Confucianism, and the significance of education throughout history. Whether it's appreciating the architectural beauty, participating in rituals, or gaining insight into ancient Vietnamese education, these destinations provide a remarkable and enriching experience for all.


Discover the hidden gems and fascinating stories behind Hanois Temple of Literature with unique tour experience

Discover the hidden gems and fascinating stories behind Hanoi's Temple of Literature with unique tour experience - (Source: Collected)

The Temple of Literature Hanoi, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, is a historic and culturally significant site. As one of the oldest universities in Vietnam, this temple is a symbol of knowledge and learning. Visiting the Temple of Literature Hanoi is a must-do on any Hanoi street tour, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history and architecture of the area.

The temple also houses the Confucius Temple Hanoi, dedicated to the revered Chinese philosopher, Confucius. This further showcases the deep cultural ties between Vietnam and China. The Temple of Literature in Hanoi not only pays homage to Confucius but also honors other notable scholars and literary figures.

When planning a visit to the Temple of Literature Hanoi, it is essential to note the opening hours to make the most of your trip. The temple's opening hours allow ample time to explore the beautifully preserved halls, pavilions, and gardens within the complex.

While in Hanoi, exploring other landmarks such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is highly recommended. These sites provide additional insights into Vietnam's history and its revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh.

The Temple of Literature Hanoi and the House of Literature Hanoi are both testament to the rich literary and intellectual heritage of the city. They serve as reminders of the importance of education and intellectual development in Vietnamese culture.

Overall, a visit to the Temple of Literature Hanoi during a tour of Hanoi, Vietnam offers a unique opportunity to connect with the country's history, literature, and cultural traditions. It is a remarkable destination for those seeking to delve into the fascinating world of Vietnamese academia and intellectual pursuits.

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