Temple of Literature--page 1 (of three pages)


The Temple of Literature ( Van Mieu ), dedicated to Confucius, was founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. In 1076, Vietnam's first university was established here to educate Vietnam's administrative and warriors class. Parts of the university date from this earlier time period although the large complex has undergone many changes over the centuries. But recent archaeological study indicates that the architecture of this site belongs primarily to the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) Dynasties. The complex is in a tranquil park-like site in the heart of central Hanoi. The progression is essentially axial from the entrance gate to the central temple sanctuary (page 3).

Left: entrance gate from the outside
center: entrance gate from the inside


Side passages between courtyards

Royalty entered through the main gate whereas students used the side passageways between the courtyards. Presumably study pavilions were once here.

Left: Approaching Dai Trung gate
center: a courtyard


Khuc Van Cac pavilion

These open pavilions provided space for study and leisure.

Thien Quang Tinh pond

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© 2004 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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