Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)

Overview of Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)

Temple of literature and imperial academy is also known as Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam in Hanoi. It is an amazing historical relic that offers a look into the rich history and cultural roots of Vietnam from the 10th century. It was dedicated to Chinese philosopher Confucius and different famous scholars by the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong. Imperial academy was created for the royal families and king’s children. It is the oldest university in the country.

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Van Mieu - Temple of Literature

With the passage of time, it was expanded for common people with extraordinary academic talent. King Le Thanh Tong set a doctorate exam for all the talented scholars and rewarded steles to the students who passed the exam. You can see them in the building.


Nguyen dynasty built another imperial academy in Hue when the capital was moved there. After that temple of literature was restored, repaired and preserved. There are a lot of things to see in the temple of literature.

Things to do at Temple of Literature (Van Mieu)

Temple of literature has many high value architectural works and even after more than 10 centuries, they still retain their ancient appearance. There are five different zones in the complex with their own separate gates and walls. Areas which can be seen from the entrance of the building are Dai Trung gate, Van Mieu gate, Khue Van Cac, Thai Hoc house, Giam garden and many others.


Van Mieu gate

There are three doors in the two story gate. “Van Mieu Mon” letters are inscribed in ancient Chinese on the upper floor of the gate. Mostly, tourists trip starts from this area entrance.


Great Middle Gate or Dai Trung Mon

Second gate of the temple of literature is the Dai Trung Mon that is located after the Van Mieu gate. There are three compartments of the gate which are constructed on the high brick foundation. Its roof tiles are inspired by the tiles used in the ancient communal houses. There is a spacious area around Dai Trung Mon which contains small parallel roads, trees and plantation. This area creates elegance, depth and quietness around Dai Trung Mon.


Khue Van Pavilion or Khue Van Cac

Second area is the architectural wonder from Ngueyn dynasty that was constructed in the 18th century. There are two floors and an attic of the pavilion. It is constructed on a square platform. Each floor has a width of 6.8 meters each. Attic wall sides have round windows that portray images of a shining star. Different Confucian scholars used to gather in this area to share their opinions about the works of students.

van-mieu-gate-Khue Van Cac

Thien Quang Well and Doctor Stele

There are rows of large stone steles from 14th century to 17th century. They are unique pieces of art with great spiritual significance. They represent success of different students in doctorate examination. You can see the name of each student and the year, in which they passed the exam along with the dynasty, philosophy of the education and information about the exam.


Gate of success or Dai Thanh Mon

There is a vast courtyard after you step through the Dai Thanh Mon. There is a shrine area, sanctuary to Confucious and hall of ceremonies.


Thai Hoc Hall

Fifth courtyard has Thai Hoc hall and classrooms. There are alters to honor ancient kings and famous professors. There is a bich ung bell on the right and drum on the left side of the building to present the majesty of the complex.


Accommodation budget moderate and expensive

 Khach San Hoang Cuong

It is an affordable accommodation that offers free Wi-Fi, Air conditioning, 24-hour front desk, laundry service and airport shuttle.


Libre Homestay

There is a fully equipped kitchen, flat screen TV, air conditioning, fridge, hairdryer, minibar, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi in the entire building.


Mercure Hanoi la Gare

This high end accommodation is located on a vibrant street. It offers complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, AC, parking and many more facilities.


Places to eat

 KOTO Van Mieu

It is a wonderful place that serves Vietnamese traditional and international cuisines. Menu has vegetarian options as well as drinks.

Gia restaurant

This is the best place to enjoy traditional Vietnamese dinner. You can also find many vegetarian options in the menu.

Airport info

Domestic and international flights are operated from Noi Bai international airport (HAN) for the city.



Different buses reach temple of literature from various parts of the city. You can catch 02, 23, 32, 38 and 41 number buses to get off near the attraction. Taxi, cab and other services are also available to reach Van Mieu.

Temple of literature is the best place to see the rich educational history of Vietnam. You can witness names of royals and highly educated commoners in the building along with their doctorate year and details.

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