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Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam - The Temple of Literature :van mieu
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 900 years of activity, thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from this university.
This site preserves historical vestiges of a 1,000-year-old civilization such as statues of Confucius and his disciples (Yan Hui, Zengshen, Zisi, Mencius), and ancient constructions such as Khue Van Pavilion and the Worshipping Hall.

Khue Van Cac - Pavillion of the constellation of literature
The artifacts collected during the recent excavation drives around Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) in Hanoi proved the architecture of this site belongs to the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) Dynasties. Life of the students in olden times is reflected through these artifacts and seemed to be simple and pure compared to that of the city dwellers. Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (National College) now preserves 82 steles engraved with the names of 1,306 doctors who obtained the doctoral titles at 82 royal examinations, held from 1442 to 1779.
Although Van Mieu was built long ago, the architectural complexes in this area were erected much later. One of them was Khue Van Cac, or Pavilion of the Constellation of Literature, built under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). In 1802, Gia Long took the throne and built the capital in Hue. In 1805, the Commander of the Northern Citadel, Nguyen Van Thanh, ordered the construction of Khue Van Cac at Van Mieu. This project was carried out at the same time as the erection of the surrounding walls around Van Mieu in 1833.
The pavilion was a two-storey complex made of wood and bricks, that is mirrored on the Thien Quang well. Located in the third courtyard (from the front gate), the pavilion's ground floor is empty, with four brick pillars of 85 cm x 85 cm engraved with designs of clouds. The pillars stand on a square base, 6.8 cm x 6.8 cm, which is covered with Bat Trang bricks. The upper floor, made of wooden frames, stands on four brick pillars, with four round windows facing the four directions and having rays like the sun. This floor is the symbol of the brilliant constellation that is shining. The Oriental people consider this star as a symbol of literature. On this floor, the balustrade is supported by engraved wooden pieces, and a gilt board with three letters of Khue Van Cac hangs on the wall.
Much of the six hectares of the Temple of Literature is occupied by gardens and a fishpond. These are quite geometric, dotted with topiaries and in the courtyards, oversized Vietnamese-style bonsai.
No doubt these gardens made a very pleasant environment for the young nobility and would-be aristocrats to absorb knowledge.

Hanoi Flag Tower :
Hanoi Flag Tower, also called Cot Co, is one of the rare architectural works in Hanoi that was fortunate enough to not be destroyed by the French administration between 1894 and 1897. It was used by French troops as an observation tower and communication station between command headquarters and adjacent military posts. It was built in 1812 and is composed of three platforms and a tower.
The words Nghenh Huc, meaning "to welcome dawn's sunlight," are inscribed on the eastern door. The western door bears the two words Hoi Quang, meaning "to reflect light," and the southern door, Huong Minh, meaning "directed to the sunlight."
The tower receives sunlight through 36 flower-shaped and six fan-shaped windows.

Ba Dinh Square :parliament house Photo by Duy Nghia
Ba Dinh is a complex of several beautiful cultural and historic tourist sites, situated in the center of Hanoi. Ba Dinh Hall is a meeting place for the great important events of Vietnam. The Presidential Palace is an administrative office of the Government.
The One-pillar Pagoda is a famous thousand-year old cultural relic of Vietnam.
There is a monument of the patriot combatants who sacrificed their lives for the independence of the Homeland.

President Ho Chi Minh’s Museum and Residence are where many precious documents and relics of President Ho Chi Minh’s life and works still remain. President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, an imposing construction, is the where the remains of Ho Chi Minh are kept. In front of Ba Dinh Square is a large grass yard that is divided into 168 squares. Million of tourists come here to visit the beautiful architectures of this site.

One Pillar Pagoda :
Located in Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh precinct, Hanoi, the One Pillar Pagoda is a cultural and historic relic, unique for its architectural features.
The pagoda was first built in 1049 under the Ly dynasty, on the west side of the ancient Thang Long capital. Its original name was Dien Huu, expressing the wish for longevity for the second Ly King. The pagoda is built in the shape of a lotus blooming on its stem.
The pagoda was built after the description of a dream of King Ly Thai Tong , who reigned between 1028 and 1054, in which Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the Goddess of Mercy, led him to a lotus flower.
The actual One-Pillar Pagoda is the miniature reconstruction of a large, ancient, royal Buddhist building.

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum :
After two years of construction, the mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh was officially inaugurated on August 29,1975. The facade of the mausoleum faces the historic Ba Dinh Square.
The mausoleum is divided into three layers with a combined height of 21.6 meters.
T
he lowest layer forms a terraced stand exclusively used for the presidium of grand meetings organized at the grassy Ba Dinh Square. The second layer is the central piece of the mausoleum where the remains of the president is kept in a chamber accessible through a series of passages and flights of marble staircases. The upper part of the mausoleum is the roof resembling a three terraced steps. The facade of the upper part bears an inscription "President Ho Chi Minh" made of dark violet precious stone.
The mausoleum is the place to keep the remains of President Ho Chi Minh, the great patriotic who had been conferred the title "World Cultural Activist" and the national hero. The conferment was made on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's Birthday (1890-1990).
The mausoleum project was the results of artistic labour of both Vietnamese and former Soviet Union scientists in respect for President Ho Chi Minh.

West Lake and Youth Road :
The Youth Road can be compared to a beautiful bridge spanning across the two large bodies of water - West Lake to the northwest and Truc Bach Lake to the southeast. This 992-metre-long road has been made into two-lane road with a line of big trees grown in between the lanes. On either side of the road is grown with flamboyant trees, weeping willow trees and bang lang trees. In summer the road looks colorful with the many flamboyant trees in blossom and bang lang trees with violet flowers.
 The west lake area is estimated at 480 hectares, being the biggest lake in the city. A road that runs around the lake is as long as 12 kilometers. It passes several flower-growing villages such as flower Nghi Tam village, Tay Ho, and Peach tree planting Nhat Tan village. Situated nearby the lakeside road are several famous pagodas and temples such as Phu Tay Ho and Kim Lien Pagoda. In feudal regimes many royal palaces and rest houses have been built to used as resort places for kings and senior court officers. Now Ho Tay has been earmarked for the city's major tourism development center.

Tran Quoc Pagoda :
Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest of all pagodas in Hanoi. Located beside the dazzling West Lake in Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism.
It is said that, the pagoda was built under the reign of King Ly Nam De (544-548) under its original name of Khai Quoc (National Founder). It was originally built on the bank of the Red River (then West Lake and the Red River met). In the time of King Le Kinh Tong (1600-1618), the pagoda was removed to the Kim Ngu (Golden Fish) Islet due to the river bank crumbling and was renamed Tran Quoc (National Defence).
Unlike other ordinary pagodas, the Tran Quoc Pagoda was built intri­Behind the worshipping shrine is the Buddhist trinity followed by corridors, ten shrines and the belfry.
In the pagoda, there are many valuable statues, such as the red lac­statue trimmed with gold of Sakyamouni Buddha's Parinirvana and many ancient stele, with the old- one made in 1639 by Doctoral lau- Nguyen Xuan Chinh recording the Pagoda's history.
In 1959, on his visit to Vietnam, Indian Prime Minister Razendia Prasat offered the Pagoda a bodhi tree as a gift. The plant was grafted from the holy bodhi tree where Sakyamuni sat in zen (meditation) position 25 centuries ago. Now the bodhi tree is green and luxuriant, shading part of the pagoda's yard.
As a religious relic among spectac­scenery, Tran Quoc Pagoda is a favourite stop-over of many foreign visitors and pilgrims.

Quan Su Pagada :
Quan Su Pagoda was first built on the land of An Tap village, Tho Xuong district, on the southern gate of Thang Long capital.
Formerly, it was a small Buddhist pagoda, located near the Quan Su house which had been constructed during the Le dynasty in the 15th century to receive foreign envoys and ambassadors.
In 1934, the pagoda was the headquarter of the Tonkin Buddhist Association.
Since 1942, the pagoda has been restored and expanded many times, with a larger and better architectural structure. Nowadays, this place acts as the headquarters of the Vietnam Central Buddhist Congregation, at 73 Quan Su Street, Tran Hung Dao ward, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.

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