A Temple and a School
Founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the Temple of Literature continues to provide a peaceful repose in the center of Hanoi. Lush trees and colorful blossoms complement the symmetrical gates and traditional buildings that form the ancient compound. Though the site does serve as a temple to Confucius, it’s more famous as Vietnam’s first university.
Visitors can still find evidence of scholarly pursuits throughout the Temple of Literature. Huge stones shaped like turtles list the names of the men who studied Confucian literature and poetry. One building displays students’ robes and the wooden boxes they used to carry their books.
Along with the gardens and the school buildings, visitors will also encounter a large pond known as the “Well of Heavenly Clarity,” as well as a vivid pagoda. There are even multiple gift shops for those who’d like to pick up a souvenir. What’s more, the Fine Arts Museum is just across the street.