Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam
- The Temple of Literature :
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 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
Khue Van Cac - Pavillion of the constellation of
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
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
Ba Dinh Square
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
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
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
The mausoleum project was the results of artistic labour of both
Vietnamese and former Soviet Union scientists in respect for President Ho
West Lake and Youth
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.
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
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
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
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
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.