The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu) (known as Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám in Vietnames) is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam, northern Vietnam. The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture
In 1076, Vietnam’s first university, the “Quốc Tử Giám” or Imperial Academy, was established within the temple to educate Vietnam’s bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. The university remained open from 1076 to 1779. In 1802, the Nguyễn dynasty’s monarchs founded the Huế capital where they established a new imperial academy. The academy at the Hanoi temple lost its prominence and became a school of the Hoai Duc district.
Under the French protectorate, the Temple of the Literature was registered as Monument historique in 1906. Campaigns of restoration were pursued in 1920 and 1947 under the responsibility of École française d’Extrême-Orient (French School of the Far East) and again after World War II.
The King Lý Thánh Tông built the school. It was built in 1076 AD at the time of King Lý Thánh Tông. It was built as a school for the rich and royals to study because education is very important. After that, it was used as university for everyone because there weren’t enough universities for everyone in Hanoi. They wanted that a lot of people would go to the school so they expanded to make more space for more people and since it was expanded for more people wanted to go to the school to study well. It was rebuilt because the wood that the kings used in the olden days had been so old that it started to break and fall apart. As the days went by, the kings kept replacing the wood and now we have replaced the wood with concrete or metal,stone and new wood. When the French ruled Vietnam at around 1945- 1954, they destroyed some parts of the temple to make room for the sick and wounded since the hospitals were full.
Van Mieu is a diverse and abundant cultural heritage complex of Hanoi city. Nowadays, Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam is the place to report results of literature and recite beautiful poetries of Vietnam Writers’ Association on the 15th day of 1st lunar month. It is also the place where Government offers degrees: Professor, Doctorate… Every year, after graduation of higher education, valedictorians of universities gather at Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam to receive merit list from Chairman of Hanoi city’s People’s Committee and attend cultural activities. Especially, this place is also tourist destination of many visitors.
As far as vestiges are concerned, Garden of the Stelae is where keeps the most precious vestiges of the whole historical and cultural site. 82 stone stelae have great values in many aspects. They are the only original documents continuously preserved since Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam was built. Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam is historical relics that Vietnamese people are proud of. It is said that it can not be a Hanoi explorer without visiting Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam. There is a large amount of students come here every year to rub the tortoise head with hope of getting luck before entering an important exam.