Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Hanoi's Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu)

The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 as a temple to Confucius and was the site of Vietnam's first national university,  The temple grounds contain many monuments dedicated to the scholars who studied and graduated here.  The entrance to the temple is beautifully decorated with flowers, as is the pathway leading into the grounds..

 Entering the temple

The temple's third courtyard is filled with stone stelae which were constructed from 1484 on and represent an incredible historical resource, describing the philosophy, history, culture, education, society, and sculpture of the period.  Each stela is a joint project of scholars, craftsmen, and caligraphers.  This courtyard also contains 116 turtle stelae with the names and birthplaces of all 1307 graduates of the university.

Courtyard of stelae

The fourth courtyard of the temple holds displays, alters, and sculptures dedicated to Confucius and seventy-two of his most-honored disciples.

 Fourth courtyard, Confucius

The Imperial University was created as a fifth courtyard of the temple in 1076 and the courtyard is now dedicated to the three emperors who contributed most to the foundation of the temple and the university (Lý Thánh Tông, Lý Nhân Tông, and Lê Thánh Tông)

 In the fifth courtyard

The temple courtyard is hosting a concert and the stage is filled with brightly-costumed singers, dancers, and musicians.

 Temple concert

 It's time to leave this beautiful, peaceful place and head back into the busy city streets.

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