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Temple Of Literature

Temple Of Literature

The Temple of Literature, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, is one of the country's most significant cultural and historical sites. Established in 1070 under the reign of Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, it is dedicated to Confucius, scholars, and sages. The temple is also known for housing the Imperial Academy, Vietnam's first national university, which was created to educate Vietnam's mandarin class, although it has since moved locations.

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Temple Of Literature

The Temple of Literature, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, is one of the country's most significant cultural and historical sites. Established in 1070 under the reign of Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, it is dedicated to Confucius, scholars, and sages. The temple is also known for housing the Imperial Academy, Vietnam's first national university, which was created to educate Vietnam's mandarin class, although it has since moved locations.

The complex is divided into five courtyards, each with its own unique structures and gardens, designed according to Confucian principles. The highlights include:

  1. The Main Gate (Van Mieu Gate): The entrance to the first courtyard, featuring three pathways that were once reserved for different societal ranks.

  2. The Great Middle Gate: Leads into the second courtyard, where scholars and students would gather.

  3. Khue Van Pavilion: Located in the second courtyard, this is one of the temple's most iconic symbols, featuring a two-story structure with a unique roof and a bell.

  4. Thien Quang Well (Well of Heavenly Clarity): Also in the second courtyard, this well is a symbol of the clarity and purity that Confucianism aims to cultivate.

  5. The House of Ceremonies (Dai Thanh Sanctuary): Situated in the third courtyard, where Confucius and his disciples are worshipped. This area hosts the most significant rituals and ceremonies.

  6. The Imperial Academy: The fourth courtyard houses the Imperial Academy, with its dormitories and lecture halls. Although it no longer functions as an educational institution, it represents the historical significance of the site in promoting education and Confucianism in Vietnam.

  7. Stelae of Doctors: Perhaps the most famous feature of the Temple of Literature, located in the third courtyard, these stelae are mounted on the backs of stone turtles (a symbol of longevity) and list the names, places of birth, and achievements of the graduates who passed the royal exams. They are a testament to the educational achievements of the past.

The Temple of Literature is not only a tourist attraction but also a place of cultural and educational significance for the Vietnamese people. It reflects the high regard for education in Vietnamese society and serves as a source of inspiration for students, who often visit to pray for success in their studies. The architecture and serene atmosphere of the temple provide a glimpse into Vietnam's historical past and its scholarly traditions.

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