Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Temple of Literature Most Popular In Hanoi Vietnam

Just around the corner from the project office is Van Mieu, which roughly translates as Temple of Literature. It was founded in 1072 during the Ly Dynasty. Shortly thereafter in 1076 a university called Quoc Tu Giam was built inside the complex. Honouring Confucius and 72 disciples, it served as a civil service college to staff the bureaucracy of the Ly state. Roughly at the beginning of the Tran dynasty (1225-1400) the examination system of the university was changed and its gates opened to commoners for the first time.

Temple of Literature

The Chinese ruled Vietnam for a short period during the early 1400s. After this brief interregnum, the
Vietnamese leader Le Loi rose to prominence. He endowed the university with a new library and
lecture halls, and added a poetry composition section to the examinations. Also at this time the practice of carving the names of successful examinees on stone stele was instituted. The stones tell us that between 1443 and 1778 over a hundred examinations were held with about 20 successful candidates emerging from each exam.

Temple of Literature

The school flourished into the early 20th century, but the end of the civil service examinations by 1919 signalled the end of its 800 year service. The site lay largely abandoned when the French colonisers arrived, and they referred to it as the Pagoda of Crows since a flock of crows nested in old mango trees located on the site. Nowadays the area is preserved and used as a park.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature is located on Van Mieu Street, 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake. Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam is a famous historical and cultural relic consisting of the Temple of Literature and Vietnam’s first university. The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 in honour of Confucius, his followers and Chu Van An, a moral figure in Vietnamese education. Quoc Tu Giam, or Vietnam's first university, was built in 1076. Throughout its hundreds of years of activity in the feudal, thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from this university.


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