Should The Temple of Literature Be Included In Your Hanoi Day Tours?


Hanoi – Vietnam’s capital city has a long and rich history of more than one thousand years, which gives it a large number of magnificent historical sites to visit on your Hanoi cycling tours. The top significant destinations are the Flag Tower of Hanoi, the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, the Presidential Palace Historic Site, the Turtle Tower, the Co Loa Citadel, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Hanoi Opera House, the Grand Opera House, the Son Tay prison camp, etc. All of these are well worth visiting that makes it such a tough task to limit a list of Hanoi’s superlative attractions to a mere one to visit on your Hanoi day tours.

However, if you love Vietnamese literature and want to see the very first national university in Vietnam, the Temple of Literature is definitely a sight for you! In the eyes of most Vietnamese and even travelers, you have not been to Vietnam if you have not visited the Temple of Literature on your Hanoi cycling tours.


The Temple of Literature seen from above

One of the iconic symbols of Hanoi, the Temple of Literature or also known as Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám is an awe-inspiring feat of traditional ancient architecture hosting the Imperial Academy – the very first national university in Vietnam. The 948-year-old charming temple complex of Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám has long drawn in-the-know Vietnamese tourists, who love its incredibly tranquil vibe, its immaculate garden, and its distinctive Vietnamese architecture – a world away from the busy city life that lies beyond its historic walls.

The Temple of Literature – the essence and culmination of the typical traditional Vietnamese architectural accomplishment


The Temple of Literature

The first national university in Vietnam was once a “royal place” where ordinary people and commoners were forbidden entry. Built in the 11th century, it is an extravagant demonstration of typical Vietnamese ancient architecture style with five courtyards lined out in order, all the pillars carved with sophisticated and picky motifs, and roofs elegantly designed and painted in red and yellow.

There are a lot of precious historical relics in the most renowned landmark of academia in Vietnam – which is listed as one of 23 unique national monuments of Vietnam. Among them, the most outstanding must be many ancient stone statues and inscriptions on the walls, and epic statues of Confucius dotted throughout the temple, many of whose original features have been well-preserved.

The Temple of Literature – the site of historical and cultural values


A place to visit on your Hanoi cycling tours

No one can deny that the famous historical built in 1070 is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Vietnam and has been an inspiration for art students on their Hanoi tours for decades. But, Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám is not all about the essence and culmination of typical traditional Vietnamese ancient architectural accomplishment.

The Emperor Ly Thanh Tong built the Temple of Literature as a center of learning in honor of the Chinese scholar Confucius, his followers, and Chu Van An – a moral figure in Vietnamese education. On your visit to the “pagode des Corbeaux,” you can see 82 stone steles carved with the names and places of 1307 graduates in 82 triennial imperial examinations.

If you are interested in ancient Vietnamese culture, the Temple of Literature is the attraction which you should not miss on your Hanoi biking tours.

Temple of Literature or Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám

  • Address: No 58 Van Mieu Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi – about 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Opening hours: Spring and Summer (from mid-April to mid-October): from 7.30.A.M to 06.00.P.M; Autumn and Winter (from mid-October to mid-April of the next year): from 08.00.A.M to 06.00.P.M.
  • Phone: +84 437 472 566
  • Entrance fee: VND 30,000 (USD 1.3)

Almost all of the travelers on their Hanoi cycling tours are familiar with the great top-rated tourist attractions in Vietnam’s capital: The Old Town Quarter, the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, the West Lake, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, or the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. For a city of its long history, however, it is a little disappointing how relatively few people outside Vietnam fully appreciate the extent of our capital’s other destinations. A lot of them are historical sites to rival any in the world. And the one I want to mention is the Temple of Literature.

Author Since: Jan 16, 2019

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