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The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)

Listed under Temples in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photo of The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)
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Vietnam has more than one Temple of Literature - all were dedicated to Confucius, but the most famous is the one in Hanoi. Important both historically and architecturally, the earliest parts of the temple date from 1070 when it was built as a Confucius Temple before it became Vietnam’s first university, members of the royal family studied here, serving this purpose for the next 700 years.

The temple was based on the one in Qufu, China, where Confucius was born and has the same symmetrical layout of courtyards surrounding a centre pathway. Most of the current architecture dates from the 11th to 14th Centuries, but over the last hundred years a lot of restoration work has taken place so the colours (reds, yellows and golds) and the carvings are quite vibrant in some places.

In the 15th Century the practice was to carve the names of graduates onto stone steles displayed on carved turtles, some of the names can still be seen - better than graduating with a piece of paper!

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

the first university of vietnam

built in 1049, Van Mieu is the first university of vietnam

Temple of Literature (Vietnamese: Văn Miếu)

Temple of Literature (Vietnamese: Văn Miếu), known as "pagode des Corbeaux" during the period of French colonisation, is a temple of Confucius in Vietnam. Although several Văn Miếu can be found throughout Vietnam, the most prominent and famous is that situated in the city of Hanoi, which also functioned as Vietnam's first university. It is featured on the back of the one hundred thousand Vietnamese đồng banknote.

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