The Temple of Literature is a historic site in Hanoi, Vietnam, that was founded in 1070 as a temple to worship Confucius and later became the first national university of Vietnam. The temple complex consists of five courtyards, each with its own architectural features and cultural significance. The temple is also home to 82 stone stelae that record the names and achievements of the graduates of the royal exams, which were held here from 1442 to 1779.
The Literature is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except on Mondays and public holidays.
The Literature’s entrance fee is 30,000 VND for adults and 15,000 VND for students.
To get to the Temple of Literature, you can take a bus, taxi, or motorbike from the city center. The temple is located about 2 km south of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, near the intersection of Quoc Tu Giam and Van Mieu streets. You can also walk or cycle from Hoan Kiem Lake, which is about 3 km away. The temple is surrounded by a brick wall and has four gates: the Great Middle Gate, the Virtue Gate, the Talent Gate, and the Gate of Success.
Some tips for visiting the Temple of Literature are:
- Dress modestly and respectfully, as this is a sacred place for Vietnamese culture and education.
- Avoid visiting during peak hours (10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm), as it can get crowded with tourists and students.
- Hire a guide or join a tour to learn more about the history and meaning of the temple and its structures.
- Explore the different courtyards and admire the architecture, statues, gardens, and ponds.
- Visit the Khue Van Pavilion, which is a symbol of Hanoi and Vietnamese literature.
- Take photos of the stelae, which are considered as «stone books» that preserve the ancient knowledge and wisdom of Vietnam.
- Respect the rules and prohibitions of the temple, such as not touching or climbing on the stelae, not making noise or littering, and not smoking or drinking alcohol.
The Temple of Literature is a must-see attraction for anyone who wants to learn more about Vietnam’s history, culture, and education. It is a place where you can appreciate the beauty and harmony of traditional Vietnamese architecture and art, as well as the achievements and values of Vietnamese scholars and intellectuals.