Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Quoc Tu Giam – Vietnam’s the first University

Quoc Tu Giam Temple, or another name Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam is a two-work structure built to teach and worship Confucius and ancient Confucian sages. The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong, and Quoc Tu Giam was built in 1076, under King Ly Nhan Tong.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Vietnam's first university

It can be said that the Ly dynasty was the most developed period of Vietnamese education in the feudal lords era and Quoc Tu Giam work was the clearest proof of King Ly Nhan Tong’s determination to improve education.

It was first called the Imperial Academy. Then this is known as the university that was built to encourage the spirit of studiosis of the people as well as to seek talents to serve the country. Once built, studying at Quoc Tu Giam started in 1076.

The student at Quoc Tu Giam is the student who has passed the Huong exam, passed the exam at the Ministry of Ceremony and will be admitted to Quoc Tu Giam to study, listen to books, write literature to prepare for the contest, Dinh exam . Many famous scholars who contributed to the court studied at Quoc Tu Giam. Its rights reserved reminds people about an ancient top university or imperial academy in Hanoi Vietnam.

Today, Thai Hoc is in the Quoc Tu Giam Temple Area, which was the old Quoc Tu Giam for the students to study and comment on. It can be seen as the first national university in Vietnam, the birthplace of a talented country.

The History of Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - History

In 1070 (the reign of King Le Thanh Tong), The temple was built to worship Confucius, Chu Cong and Tu Tu. In 1076, King Le Thanh Tong built Quoc Tu Giam, next to it was a school dedicated to kings and wealthy aristocratic families, or imperial academy. In the reign of King Tran Thai Tong, it was renamed the National Academy in 1253, allowing civilian students to study well. Entering the post-Le period, King Le Thanh Tong ordered to build steles of those who passed the pre-doctoral exam from 1442 onwards, to this day 82 steles remain. The Temple of Literature, or another name: “Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam” in Vietnamese

The special feature of Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Today, the Temple of Literature in Hanoi is not only considered to be the first university in Vietnam, but it also has great significance for the Vietnamese tradition of fondness. Besides, this Temple of Literature is also a place to organize poetry festivals, is a place to praise excellent and excellent students and is a famous sightseeing place attracting a large number of domestic and international tourists when coming to Hanoi. Every traditional Tet occasion, the people come here eagerly to “ask for” the teachers with the desire for a peaceful and happy new year; or when the exam season comes, the martyrs come here to offer incense with the hope of winning as ancestors.

This used to be where the students came to “get lucky” before each exam by stroking the turtle’s head at the doctoral steles. However, today, to preserve the monuments, a fence is set up and the martyrs no longer do the ritual of luck as before. Temple of Literature is an image on a polymer banknote with a par value of 100,000 VND of Vietnam. It has been included in the list of 23rd National Special Monuments by the Prime Minister of Vietnam.

Where the Temple of Literature is located

Currently, the Temple of Literature is located in the middle of four main streets in Hanoi, including Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ton Duc Thang, Van Mieu and Quoc Tu Giam. Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Dong Da, Hanoi.

How to get to the Temple of Literature, Hanoi Vietnam

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - How to get there

If you depart from Sword Lake, you should follow Le Thai To Street, turn right onto Trang Thi Street, go towards Cua Nam and Nguyen Khuyen Street, then turn left onto Van Mieu Street.

If traveling by bus, the following routes will have stops near this area: 02, 23, 38, 25, 41.

Admission fee

– Currently, for tourists and people visiting the temple must buy an entrance ticket:

+ Ticket price for adults is 30,000 VND / person;

+ Children, pupils, students, people with disabilities; people in communes with extreme difficulty in mountainous and remote areas; 15,000 people with meritorious service to the revolution.

+ Children under 15 years old, people with particularly severe disabilities: free

Every day of the week:

+ Summer (from April 15 to October 15) from 7:30 to 18:00

+ Winter season (remaining time): from 8:00 to 17:00

The best time for you to visit the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Visit the Temple of Literature at any time of the year. Especially in the spring of the lunar calendar, along the streets of Van Mieu, you will find men with calligraphic booths.

Learn the architecture of Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam Hanoi

Traveling to Hanoi, visiting Van Mieu Hanoi, which is located in Dong Da district must definitely learn its architecture. Currently, this relic complex is located in a 54,331 square meter campus with many small architectural works inside, including Ho Van, Van Mieu Mon, Dai Trung Mon, Thien Quang well, Dai Thanh Mon, Khue Van Cac, home Thai Hoc, doctoral beer and five courtyards in the inner area. Teachers in the East and West include 14 rooms.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Architecture

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Architecture

The entire architecture here is the early Nguyen architecture, arranged for each zone, each layer according to the North-South axis, simulating the image of Chinese Confucius temples but still retaining the artistic style traditional arts of the nation. In front of Van Mieu, there is a large lake called Van Chuong lake. In the middle of the lake, there is Kim Chau mound. In addition to the main gate, there are 4 pillars, on the left and right sides are Ha Ma stele, surrounded by high walls.

Top 5 things to do in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

To explore this temple area, visitors will be able to visit 5 areas within the Inner Gate, each delimited by brick walls and connecting doors.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Map

1. Literature lake 4. Giam garden 7. Khue Van Cac 10. Dai Thanh gate 13. Thai Hoc area
2. Stelae commanding horsemen to dismount 5. Temple of Literature gate 8. Thien Quang well 11. Dai Thanh area 14. Steeple
3. Four pillars 6. Dai Trung Mon 9. Stelae of Doctors 12. Thai Hoc gate 15. Drum floor

The first area – Dai Trung Mon

From the main gate of the Temple of Literature, enter the first space called the Entry Path, follow a straight line to the second gate of the temple, the Dai Trung Gate. On par with Dai Trung Gate on the left, there is Thanh Duc Mon., on the right, there is Dat Tai Gate. According to the document of Mr. Do Van Ninh, the two gates of the left and the disciple are in front and the Great Gate, Thanh Duc Mon and Dai Tai Gate are in the back. Currently, the two sides are the space of trees and grass. The horizontal wall connecting the three doors extends from the sides to the wall along the outside. The two left and right sides of the entire Van Mieu area, along with the horizontal wall where the Temple of Literature is formed, form a square-shaped area with a closed diaphragm wall going in and out of the Temple of Literature. In this area, plant shade trees near the premises. Two rectangular lakes stretched along the outside. This scene causes a sense of tranquility and elegance of the “cultural capital” place. Dai Trung Mon Gate is 3 rooms, built on a high brick foundation, with funny nose tiled roofs, with two rows of columns on the front and back porch, the middle row of pillars to support the roof. In the middle of the gate, there is a small sign with the three words painted then Đại Trung Môn.

The straight path from Van Mieu Mon to Dai Trung Gate continues straight to Khue Van Cac. From the two gates of Dat Tai and Thanh Duc on either side of the Dai Trung estuary, two smaller parallel roads run straight with the middle road, dividing this second area into four fairly balanced strips. Two lakes were dug in the same position as the two lakes in the first site. The repeating of an area with only grass, the addition of rows of partitions and extra layers of doors, is considered by the architects to be very successful in their intentions to create a dense, tranquil scene of the area. architecture.

Khue Van Cac – second zone after Dai Trung Mon

From Dai Trung Mon to Khue Van Cac, this is an architectural work that is believed to be the symbol of the Temple of Literature as well as the capital of Hanoi, besides the image of Khue Van Cac is also printed on 100,000 VND bill.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Khue Van Cac

Khue Van Cac (奎文 閣, meaning “attic with the beauty of Sao Khue”) is a square floor of eight roofs, consisting of four rooftops and four lower roofs, nearly nine meters high, led by the Governor Nguyen Van Thanh of Nguyen Dynasty contemporaries built in 1805. Gac built on a square base of proportional height, paved with Bat Trang bricks, each side has a length of 6.8 meters. To step onto this square floor, you must go through three stone steps. Architectural design Khue Van Cac is very harmonious and unique. The lower floor is 4 square brick pillars, each side of the pillar has a length of one meter and on the surface of the pillars are engraved with very sophisticated and sharp patterns. The upper floor is a wooded architecture with gold paint, except for the roof and the corner decorations on the roof or on the roof are made of earthenware or high-strength lime.

The wooden floor has 2 spaces for building up the stairs. The four sides of the floor have delicately carved wood frills. The four corners of the floor for the parapet railing are also wooden. Four sides of the wall are covered with wooden planks, each side is made of a round door with wooden bars radiating out from four sides. The door and the wooden supports represent the star Khue and the rays of the star. Each side of the wooden wall touches a pair of words to match the golden Chinese characters.

The third space is Steles of Doctors and Thien Quang well

The third area is Thien Quang Well and the steles of the doctor’s garden. Passing through Khue Van, visitors will see the Thien Quang well campus and the Doctoral steles garden. The softness of the round door Khue Van Cac represents heaven, the hardness of the square Thien Quang well is a well of heavenly area. Creating harmony between heaven and earth and feng shui creates a unique point for the Temple of Literature.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Thien Quang Well

Thien Quang province (ie “wells illuminating the sky”) is also known as Van Tri (Ao Van). Thien Quang means sky light. To give this name to the well of heavenly space, the builder means that people acquire the essence of the universe, enlighten knowledge, improve quality, and beautify the humanities. Square wells, around the bank, are lined with balustrades to the height of the back. The ancients also have the concept of a square well of heavenly space symbolizing the earth, and the circular gate Khue Van symbolizes heaven. The quintessence of heaven and earth is concentrated in this majestic cultural and educational center in the middle of this imperial capital. A small paved road surrounding the well allows one to walk around the well, up the Khue Van upstairs, into the Dai Thanh gate or turn to two stone stele gardens on either side.

But perhaps the most valuable relic in the Temple of Literature is the 82 doctoral stele of stone turtles which were used to honor and encourage those who passed.

Everything you need to know when visiting the Temple of Literature in Hanoi - Doctors' Stelaes - Stone Turtles

According to Vietnamese beliefs, stone turtles are a symbol of longevity and wisdom. Steles are built on the left and right sides of Thien Quang well at the Temple of Literature, 41 on each side are set up in 2 horizontal rows, the steles face faces the well. On both sides, in the middle of each beer garden built a square court, 4 empty sides, high platform, in the middle of the platform, the door looks straight down the well. These are two courtyards to worship steles. In the past, every year, when the spring and autumn period in the Temple of Literature came, the offerings here were also made to worship the grape elves of our country, whose noble dignity was still engraved on the stone stele. In the 82 remaining steles to this day, the earliest one was erected in 1484, engraved the names of the doctors who passed the Nham Tuat faculty, the 3rd year Dai Bao dynasty (1442) the last one erected in 1780, engraved the names of the He passed the Ky Hoi faculty, the Canh Hung year 40 (1779). From Nham Tuat faculty, Dai Bao the third year to the last one, Dinh Mui department, Chieu Thong dynasty in the first year of 1787 counted up to 124 faculties of royal examination, if only the doctoral exams were included The Department of Dong Cac and Che Khoa also had to have 117 faculties, so if they followed the rules of the Hau Le Dynasty, they had to set up 117 steles with the name of Doctor. However, through many waves of fire and fire, things changed, the number of steles was only 82. Many steles were mounted on the other turtle, many broken plates had to be attached together to protect their rights reserved.

Dai Bai Duong is the fourth space, after going through Thien Quang well and Steeles of Dr

The fourth area includes the fourth courtyard and Dai Bai Dương. After visiting the Doctoral steles area in the Temple of Literature, you continue to pass through the Dai Thanh gate to Dai Bai Duong by passing the fourth courtyard to a place to worship Confucius, Chu Cong, Tu Phoi, That Thap Nhi, … and is the teaching place of the old school in the Temple of Literature. The two sides are two small doors called Kim Thanh Mon and Ngoc Chan Mon, however these two doors are not open, but you have to go by a paved road behind the Ta Vu and Huu Vu ranges to cross the fifth zone.

After Dai Bai Duong, parallel to Dai Bai Duong is Thuong Dien building, with the same scale in both height and width. Dai Bai Duong connects with Thuong Dien by a square Tieu Dinh. If separating these 3 architectural clusters, they are built in the shape of the public letter that Tieu Dinh is the middle stroke and Dai Bai Duong, Thuong Dien is the two horizontal strokes above and below.

Thuong Dien or Dai Thanh Dien is behind 9 rooms, 3-sided walls, in front, there are closed table doors with 5 nave, 4 gable times with fixed bars. In general, Thuong Dien is discreet and therefore also darker than Dai Bai, that is also the intention of the master’s intention to give this place a serious, lonely atmosphere and they have been successfully successful. This place is a place of worship for Confucian ancestors in the Temple of Literature. In the middle compartment, there is a search and a big throne on a pedestal, in which there is the post of the holy god Confucius. Way 2 sides to the other pavilions also has a pedestal and also a search, in the examination there are thrones and tablets. On the left, there are 2 thrones worshiping Tang Tu and Manh Tu; on the right, there are two thrones worshiping Nhan Tu and Tu Tu. Four of these worshipers are worshiped above, i.e. the Four-temple is prescribed to worship from the day the Temple of Literature was built. In addition to the plaque, all four of them have very majestic wooden painted cards.

Den Khai Thanh – The last region to visit

After visiting the fourth courtyard and Dai Bai Duong, the Khai Thanh area is the last area of ​​the monument in the Temple of Literature. From Van Mieu to Khai Thanh one can follow two paved roads behind Ta Vu and Huu Vu, or also from the back of Thuong Dien through the three-door door. This door is the main door and also built 3 compartments, with the roof and the door open. From the outside to the Temple of Khai Thanh, you can also pass a small open gate in the southeast corner where it is adjacent to the wall separating the two areas of Van Mieu and Khai Thanh.

Khai Thanh Temple is a place to worship Confucius parents, ie Thuc Luong Ho and Nhan Trung At. Half of the area is the front yard. The courtyard was divided by a brick road leading from the door to the center of the Temple of Literature. The left half of the courtyard has 2 stelae inscribed as follows: Thăng Long is the place of the old capital; is the old Thai Hoc house. On the two sides of the gate of Van Mieu, there are steles bearing the name of Doctor, starting from the Nham Tuat department of Dai Bao era, to the Ky Hoi department of the Canh Hung dynasty, now there are 82 slabs, which is just a small number. Since then until now, the wind has been raining, the grass is covered with moss, there are more than 10 inscriptions worn out, loosely in each place, a lot of the chipping cannot be read (十 面 餘 零 星 散立, 多 斑 駁 不 可 卒 讀.

My name is Thanh, who came to work here, often wanted to do that. This fall, my work is less busy, I discuss with the governor and the supervisor how to make tile houses on each side of 2 buildings, each building with 11 compartments. If the stele is spilled loosely, it will be folded back, the stele that has been damaged should be compared and engraved. Storing traces of the past” …. Actually these two steles are also precious documents.

The architecture of Khai Thanh temple is more sketchy, but there are also Ta Vu, Huu Vu on both sides and the temple in the middle. Khai Thanh Temple was built in the old Quoc Tu Giam area, also known as the Thai study area where talents forged many dynasties. According to the literature, this area in the past had 150 rooms for students, considered as dormitories. In 1946 the French army fired cannons to destroy all remaining structures. Today’s architecture is completely new. The entire roof is covered by two layers of tile, the top is a layer of lead 1.5mm thick, then another layer of tile, and the top is funny nose tile. The part between the pillars and the foot of the rock is also placed on a 1.5mm thick lead plate to prevent moisture from below. The yard is paved with bricks with the size of 30x30x4cm. Around the house are covered with green stone. The scale of the new Thai Hoc architecture is superficial, solemn and in harmony with the landscape architecture of the Temple of Literature ahead.

Notes to visit the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Temple of Literature Quoc Tu Giam is an extremely important relic, containing a lot of historical and cultural values, so visitors when visiting here should note:

– Respect and protect monuments; there is no invasive behavior to antiques, landscapes … such as rubbing turtles’ head, writing graffiti on relic walls, sitting on doctoral epitaphs …

The Temple of Literature dress code: costumes should be consistent, neat and clean. Because this is a place with a lot of cultural significance, avoid revealing underwear. In shrines without hats, smoking, etc.

Consciously protect the environment, do not throw garbage indiscriminately, do not step on grass, break branches, pick flowers, fish …

Perform incense offering and rituals in accordance with the regulations of the management board; not to behave indecently, profanity, or cause disorder or security; do not take advantage of beliefs, worship to perform superstition, fraud.

Note that filming at Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam can only be done with the permission of the management board.

How long to visit the Temple of Literature and National Tu Giam?

When you come to Hanoi, visiting Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam takes about 1 to 2 hours. However, it is advisable to combine sightseeing with other locations located in the downtown area of Hanoi which takes about half a day to a day.

The value of the Temple of Literature of Hanoi

In terms of relics, it is said that the two doctoral steles on either side of Thien Quang well is the place to preserve the most precious relics of this historic site. The 82 Ph.D. steles are still valuable in many ways. These are the only original textual documents that have been kept in place, continuously since their creation.

Historians can find here documents about the history of education, names associated with national history, hometown, the identities of talented people that are specific in the Temple of Literature, through which they can determine the age for many monuments in undated places.

Geographers can search old sites to find ancient lands related to the present time.

Philosophers can find here evidence to determine the role of Confucianism in Vietnam

Vietnamese people everywhere also come here to find the surname of a certain ancestor belonging to our family in the past who was in the academic department

These are also documents with continuous systems, at least within 3 centuries (from 1484 to 1780) on stone carving technique. Art researchers and visual artists can find out the quintessence of national art from beer, turtle, pattern and motifs engraved on the stele to promote and apply in the mornings. modern creation.

There have been many research papers written about doctoral stele, but the exploitation of materials of 2 beer houses still continues. Scientists all believe that the doctoral epitaph deserves the “historical stone” phoenix with many unique and rare values ​​of culture, history, art of crafting … not only for Vietnam but also for that gender.

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