The Temple of Literature


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Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi
January 2nd 2008
Published: March 4th 2008
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Khuê Văn CácKhuê Văn CácKhuê Văn Các

Khuê Văn Các (pavillion built in 1802), the red tower at Văn Miếu, is the symbol of Hanoi. You can see it in the logo of the Hanoi Television or on the paintings and postcards.
One of the must-see places when you visit Hanoi is "Văn Miếu" (the Temple of Literature) - "Quốc Tử Giám" (the first National University of Vietnam) which is nearly 1,000 years old. It's a representative of Confucian ways of thought and behavior, as well as a historical and cultural relic.

In 1070, King Lý Thánh Tông erected several important monuments, including Văn Miếu (the Temple of Literature). The organization of instruction and learning at the Quốc Tử Giám (National University) began in 1076 under the Lý dynasty and further developed in the 15th century under the Lê dynasty. The university was established near the Temple of Literature, and during its more than 700 years of instruction (1076-1779), thousands of talented men in Vietnam were educated there.

The national university was headed by a Director (Tế tửu) and a Vice Director (Tư nghiệp). The professors of the national university had different titles. Most of the students (Giám sinh) had passed the regional exams (Hương). During the course of study, the students paid attention to the discussion of literature and wrote poetry as well. Their text books were "the 4 books", "the 5 pre-confucian classes", ancient poetry and Chinese history. The students had to learn at the national university from 3 to 7 years. They had a minor test every month and 4 major tests every year. If they completed enough their terms, their study results were approved by the Ministry of Rites to qualify the national exam (Hội). The candidates needed to pass the national exam to sit for the royal exam (Đình) held at the court and answered the questions posed by the King.

At Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám, there are 82 stelae on the back of stone tortoises which recorded the names, places of birth and achievements of successful contestants in the examinations between 1442 and 1778.

Many times I took foreign friends or guests to visit Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám. The most special visit was to take photos of me wearing an Áo Dài (Vietnamese traditional dress). I would like to thank my American friend Jerry and Vietnamese friend Tùng, who spent an afternoon with me at the Temple of Literature and helped me take these great photos. This Áo Dài of red and yellow color is a special design and I wore it with a red turban.


Additional photos below
Photos: 35, Displayed: 23


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The Temple of Literature in HanoiThe Temple of Literature in Hanoi
The Temple of Literature in Hanoi

I am standing by stone tortoises at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.
The Temple of LiteratureThe Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature

The view of some buildings at the Temple of Literature.
Stone tortoisesStone tortoises
Stone tortoises

There are 82 stelae on the back of stone tortoises at the Temple of Literature. In 2010, they were recognized as one of UNESCO world heritages in Vietnam.
Exhibition at the Temple of LiteratureExhibition at the Temple of Literature
Exhibition at the Temple of Literature

Many aritifacts and photos of the Temple of Literature were displayed at the exhibition.
The Temple of LiteratureThe Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature

I am standing by the pool at the Temple of Literature.
Model of the Temple of LiteratureModel of the Temple of Literature
Model of the Temple of Literature

Model of the Temple of Literature at the exhibition.
Special stone tortoiseSpecial stone tortoise
Special stone tortoise

This is the only stone tortoise at the Temple of Literature that has a special head.
Some musical instrumentsSome musical instruments
Some musical instruments

Some Vietnamese musical instruments sold at the Temple of Literature.


3rd February 2010

beautiful outfit
That's a really lovely outfit Hong Ha! It fits pretty well with the Temple of Literature too. i love that place; it's so peaceful.
4th October 2011
Khuê Văn Các

I like very Khue Van Cac

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