Temple of Literature is in Vietnam

Entrance portal to the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi Vietnam.

Any county that dedicates a temple to literature and culture must be an advanced and forward thinking country, one that did it in the year 1070 is just awesome!

The Temple of Literature, or Culture, in Ha Noi Vietnam is a “Temple of Confucius” which is a temple that honors Confucius and other philosophers and thinkers in the realm of Confucianism. The temple was built in 1070, at the time when Vietnam was ruled by the Emperor  Lý Thánh Tông (1054-1072). In 1076 the first National University in Vietnam was established on the grounds of the temple.

Temple of Literature Tiger wall relief at the entrance.
Temple of Literature Tiger wall relief at the entrance.

The grounds are beautiful with many ponds and old majestic trees. The temple has five courtyards and each has an entrance gate. There are many ponds filled with Koi and Lotus flowers throughout the grounds of the temple.

One of the ponds to the left in this picture.
One of the ponds to the left in this picture.

A closer look at one of the ponds with the beautiful Lotus flowers.
A closer look at one of the ponds with the beautiful Lotus flowers.
One of the beautiful Lotus flowers in the pond.
One of the beautiful Lotus flowers in the pond.
The seed pod of the spent Lotus flower.
The seed pod of the spent Lotus flower.
One of many old majestic tree on the grounds.

The big Koi pond is called Thien Quang well and is in the third courtyard.
The big Koi pond is called Thien Quang well and is in the third courtyard.
The entrance gate,  gate of Great Synthesis, leading to the fourth courtyard.
The entrance gate, gate of Great Synthesis, leading to the fourth courtyard.
This is a detail of the gate of Great Synthesis door panel.
This is a detail of the gate of Great Synthesis door panel.

The fifth courtyard was originally constructed in 1076 when the University was established. The courtyard was destroyed by the French during war in 1946 but was reconstructed in the year 2000. It honors important scholars and is a sacred place to the Vietnamese people.

The fifth courtyard at the Temple of Literature.
The fifth courtyard at the Temple of Literature.
A Bonzai tree at the Temple of Literature.
A Bonzai tree at the Temple of Literature.
An urn at the temple.
An urn at the temple.
Confucius himself, the Master...
Confucius himself, the Master…
Two of Confucius disciples.
Two of Confucius disciples.

According to Sima Qian, Confucius said: “The disciples who received my instructions, and could themselves comprehend them, were seventy-seven individuals. They were all scholars of extraordinary ability.” Wikipedia

Crane on Turtle statue.
Crane on Turtle statue.

The Crane and the Turtle

From Wikipedia: “Another important animal is the crane, which is included in a famous Vietnamese story with the turtle. The story says that there once was a drought and the turtle needed water to stay alive. The crane saw he was in trouble, and flew him to the nearest water source. Later there was a flood and the crane had no place to land, so the turtle let the crane stand on his back until the flood was over. This story shows symbiosis, or friendship. This is shown by how the two animals helped each other when they were in trouble.”

In Vietnamese animal symbolism the Turtle represents protection.
In Vietnamese animal symbolism the Turtle represents protection.
One happy visitor at the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi!
One happy visitor at the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi!

Fortune in Calligraphy at the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi

From our friends at VN Express International:

“On the second day of Tet, the Lunar New Year, thousands of people go to the Temple of Literature in the capital city’s Dong Da District to light incense and pray for progress on their learning paths, good exam scores and get the ‘magic’ calligraphy that will help their wishes be granted. The venue, Vietnam’s first university built in 1070, has become a sacred place for most Vietnamese people.”

Turtle steles with names of people who have been successful at the Royal exams.
Turtle steles with names of people who have been successful at the Royal exams.
From the fifth courtyard.
From the fifth courtyard.

Exit through the gift shop!

This lady can show you all the items in the gift shop and even sell you a fountain pen to write your latest novel with.
Flowers are beautiful in Vietnam!
Flowers are beautiful in Vietnam!
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