The Temple of Literature is one of the most famous historical and cultural destinations that you should not miss when traveling to Vietnam. It is similar to a quiet oasis in the middle of a bustling city – Hanoi, in which you can immerge yourself in a peaceful atmosphere and contemplate its rich past. A visit to the Temple of Literature makes your holidays in Vietnam much more valuable.
The Temple of Literature was first built in 1070 by King Ly Thanh Tong as an altar to worship Confucius. In 1070, Kinh Ly Nhan Tong built a royal college at the same site to teach the princes to prepare knowledge before ruling the country. One year later, the royal college was expanded to include the sons of mandarin aristocracy. And some years later, it was opened for all the juniors of the country who succeeded in the national examination. In 1484, Kinh Le Thanh Tong started a tradition of memorializing the most brilliant scholars of the nation by erecting the steles inscribed the names of those who attained the rank of doctor laureate.
During 700 years until the Nguyen Dynasty moved the capital and the university to Hue, it fostered many Vietnamese great statesmen such as Chu Van An and Nguyen Trai who are still honored to this day. The temple is now a shrine to honor brilliant scholars of the past and a place where students often come to study and pray for good luck in their exams.
Over centuries, the time and social change altered many features of the Temple. But it still plays an important role in the mind of Hanoian.
The Temple is opened from Mondays to Sundays, 8am to 17pm. And it takes only around 30 minutes for walking. The Temple of Literture is one of the highlights in your tours in Hanoi.