Temple of Literature

On the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese Dong banknote, you will notice a solemn temple featuring various pavilions, halls, statues, and stelae - the Temple of Literature, which hosts the "Imperial Academy", the first national university of this country. To honor Confucius, the layout of the temple is similar to that of the temple at Qufu, Shandong, China, Confucius' birthplace.

Situated south of Thang Long citadel, the Temple of Literature was founded by The Vietnamese King Ly Thánh Tông in 1070 and admitted only the sons of mandarins originally. Not until the 13th century that it took in talented commoners.  Ceremonies, study sessions, and strict exams were held here to breed famous scholars and doctors, allowing the cream of the working class a beef up the bureaucracy. Now it has become the country's oldest and foremost monument to education. Each year before the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, calligraphists assemble outside the temple and write wishes in ancient characters as gifts or are used as home decorations for special occasions. Inside the temple, there is a free orchestra performing traditional music in honor of the royal founders and Confucius.

With an easy ride, you can reach other tourist attractions like the Ho Chi Minh Complex (HO Chi Minh Mausoleum & Ho Chi Minh House on Stilt), Fine Arts Museum, Old Quarter, Ngoc Son Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Indochina Odyssey Tours can tailor-make a Vietnam tour including the Temple of Literature for a better understanding of Vietnam culture, check it out.

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