Photo: Hanoi's first university.

Temple of Literature

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The tranquil and sprawling Temple of Literature was established in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, and became the site of Vietnam's first university, the Imperial Academy or Quoc Tu Giam, six years later.

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Today the grounds make for an interesting wander and step back into history, though the buildings are much newer after repeated renovations over the centuries.

The entrance to the Temple of Literature looks particularly colourful during spring. Photo taken in or around Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

The entrance to the Temple of Literature looks particularly colourful during spring. Photo: Samantha Brown

Set on a large, rectangular complex encompassing five walled courtyards connected by gateways, among green gardens sprinkled with hanging orchids and featuring reflecting pools, the temple is something of a retreat from the hustle on the streets outside.

The temple features on Vietnam's 100,000 dong note and was dedicated to the cult of Confucius, which broke the monopoly over education previously held by Buddhism. The layout is similar to that of the temple at Confucius' birthplace, Qufu in Shandong. Initially mandarins and high-ranking civil servants were educated at the university, typically for three to seven years, but later outstanding students of no particular rank were also ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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