Temple of Literature, Hanoi: The First National University of Vietnam

Temple of Literature, Hanoi: The First National University of Vietnam

06-12-2016 11:23 Posted by: Thao Tran
Temple of Literature, Hanoi (Vietnam) is a famous tourist destination with the comparison as a holy land generating outstanding heroes in the past.

temple of literature

Temple of literature, Hanoi (Vietnam) (instagram/ quetalviajar)

Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi

Temple of literature, Hanoi opening hours:

15th April - 15th October: 7h30 - 17h30

The remaining months: 8h00 - 17h00


Temple of Literature built in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong is the shrine of Confucius, sages of Confucianism and the Rector of Imperial Academy, Chu Van An.

Imperial Academy was built in 1076 during the reign of King Ly Nhan Tong. It was the place to train talents for the country and also the first university of Vietnam.

Relic complex of Temple of Literature has fairly large scale, rectangular surface with 306 meters in length, 61 meters in width from the front, 75 meters in width from the back. It is surrounded by large brick walls (brick is a common material of the Later Le).

Today, Temple of Literature, Hanoi is located in Dong Da district with four sides towards streets: Quoc Tu Giam Street runs through the main gate and covers the south, Van Mieu street covers the east side, Ton Duc Thang Street covers the west side; behind is Nguyen Thai Hoc Street which covers the north.

Currently, on the occasion of important exams, Temple of Literature is also one of Vietnam destinations where many candidates all over the country visit and pray for luck with their exams.

Discover what are inside the Temple (Youtube/ Hello Vietnam)

1. Architecture of Temple of Literature, Hanoi

temple of literature - gate

Gate of Temple of Literature is the outer gate of the Imperial Academy. This gate has three doors with tall centre door built in 2 floors. There is also Quarter of Pillars outside (Nghi Mon) (Zing)

temple of literature - Khue Van Pavilion

Constellation of Literature pavilion is a square building with eight roofs including four high roofs and four low roofs. It is nearly nine meters high and built by General Nguyen Van Thanh in Nguyen Dynasty in 1805. Image of constellation was chosen as the symbol of the capital, Hanoi (Zing)

temple of literature - Thien Quang well

Thien Quang Tinh is "Well of heavenly clarity" or also known as Pond of Literature which is located just behind Constellation of Literature pavilion. Thien Quang well is also considered as the center of Temple of Literature, Hanoi where all doctor stelae in both sides are facing to (Zing)

temple of literature - Stele of doctors

Left and right areas of Thien Quang Well contain 82 doctor stelae with full names and hometowns of 1304 doctors from 82 examinations (1442-1779) consisting of 81 faculties in Le Dynasty and one faculty in Mac dynasty. They are all placed in the back of turtles (Zing)

temple of literature - Dai Thanh Mon

Dai Thanh Mon is a gateway connecting area of Pond of Literature, doctor stelea and shrine. Dai Thanh Gate (the door of great success) preludes to the area of main architectures where shrines Confucius, Chu Cong, etc. (Zing)

temple of literature - Dai Bai Duong

Dai Bai Duong is in front of Dai Thanh yard and it is used for holding spring-autumn sacrifices and prayers. Situated parallel behind Dai Bai Duong is Thuong Dien where worships the ancestors of Confucianism. Its middle area has large altar and throne on a pedestal having ancestral tablet of Master Confucius (Zing)

temple of literature - Thai Hoc yard

Both Thai Hoc yard and Bai Duong yard in the front are places for examinations and implementation of ancient ceremonies in the past. Today, it is the annual place awarding the titles of Professor, Doctor (Zing)

temple of literature - Khai Thanh temple

Khai Thanh Temple is the final area of the relic. The first floor is to honor a famous teacher Chu Van An and the place to introduce generally about history of Temple of Literature’s formation and development. The second floor is the place worships people who established Temple of Literature and contributed to the education of Vietnam Confucianism. They are Ly Thanh Tong, Ly Nhan Tong and Le Thanh Tong (Zing)

temple of literature - Drum pavilion

Drum pavilion is located on the right side of Khai Thanh temple (Zing)

temple of literature - Bell pavilion

Bell pavilion is located on the left side of Khai Thanh Temple. In the architecture complex of Temple of Literature, there are two separate areas which are Lake of Literature located in front of the gate, and large Giam garden located in the right side of the entire construction (Zing)

temple of literature - general view

Map of Temple of Literature’s general view (Dong Da District, Hanoi)

2. Activities in Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Every day at front hall of Imperial Academy house, traditional art performances are carried out for the request of guests. When visiting the relic, you will enjoy free and take photos with artists;

Moreover, the Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam has activities for groups of visitors such as education promotion, offered incense, etc.

3. Services of Temple of Literature, Hanoi

There are tour guides knowing ​​English, French, Chinese, and Vietnamese as required. With a group of over 50 people, you should contact with Department of demonstration – professional competence in advance. Phone number: 0438235601.

In the relic, there are also some shops selling souvenirs and refreshment service.

4. Things to do in Temple of Literature, Hanoi

temple of literature - master

In the first days of New Year, you can see a lot of masters dressing traditional clothing with Chinese print and red paper sitting along sidewalks of Temple of Literature to write lucky words for people (Yeunhiepanh)

- You can light an incense stick when visiting the Temple of Literature, Hanoi.

- You also should ask for calligraphy at the Temple of Literature or buy the calligraphy written on Bat Trang ceramics, paper in many different meanings such as: Happiness, Benefit, Age, Heart, Achievement, etc. People believe that these papers can bring them strength, happiness, success, etc. It is very unique culture of Hanoi people.

- If you like water puppetry, you can also buy model products as gifts.

temple of literature - souvernir

Candidates are choosing their lucky gifts in one of shops selling souvenirs (afamily)

temple of literature - pose

Taking a nice photo to keep memory (instagram/ sasa.sunnie) 

temple of literature - girl

A lovely girl in Temple of Literature (instagram/ huyen.we)

temple of literature-ao dai

Many beautiful backgrounds for pictures (instagram/ hangbi.i)

temple of literature - take photos

You can pose to get nice photos (instagram/ mycoco193) 

5. Note in Temple of Literature Hanoi

- Visitors are not allowed to touch and harm the relics and historical landscape, especially not touch head of turtles, draw, stand, or sit on doctor stelae;

- Don’t wear revealing dresses, too short skirts or short pants when visiting the relics to ensure Temple of Literature’s spiritual home;

- Each visitor only lights an incense stick at the prescribed places;

- Don’t climb trees, break branches, pick flowers, step on the grass, go fishing, swimming in the relics;

6. Food around you should try

- You should try Mantis shrimp rice noodle restaurant which is located at the T-junction of Van Mieu Street and Nguyen Khuyen Street, beside the acacia with years of age;

- Taste the famous Sinh Tu grill pork with rice noodles at 57 Nguyen Khuyen Street at the price of 35.000 VND/ bowl (1.5 USD).

- Eat chopped chicken noodle soup on Ton Duc Thang Street. There are two stores at the beginning of the lane with about 30.000 - 50.000 VND/ bowl (1.5 - 2.2 USD).

7. Attractions near Temple of Literature, Hanoi

After visiting Temple of Literature Hanoi Vietnam, you can choose from a number of destinations:

- Vietnam Fine Arts Museum located on Cao Ba Quat Street, near Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.

- Historical Ba Dinh Square on Hung Vuong Street and great Ho Chi Minh mausoleum with typical architectural works inside such as One Pillar Pagoda, Dien Huu pagoda, Ho Chi Minh museum.

Read more: Hanoi beer corner: the most famous beer street named Ta Hien