Friday, April 27, 2007

Temple of Literature 3

The Temple of Literature is a significant landmark in Hanoi. I have not visited many of the so-called tourist attractions that Hanoi offers since moving here to work, but I have seen the Temple of Literature numerous times. It is close to my home, and also next to where I teach. The enclosure within the walls signifies different things to different people. For some locals, it represents the Confucian values which were instilled in scholars who studies there; for some, it represents the importance of education and study of philosophy (still a compulsory subject in Vietnamese high schools today!); others view the Temple as an artistic place and for others still, the traditional architecture seen within the Temple's walls are significant. For me, the Temple of Literature is an escape, a getaway from the madness, the busy traffic, the many-fold people and the chaos that is Hanoi and some of its four busiest roads which encircle the outer walls. These photos show some of this serenity, peace, quiet and tranquility that I find on my regular visits to the Temple of Literature.

Built in 1070. Later rebuilt. Dedicated to Confucius. It was also the first University in Vietnam (training scholars mandarins) which opened in 1076. It features quietness and harmony with the greenery surrounding it. There is Khue Van Pavilion, 82 stone steles bearing the names of the laureates of royal examinations held over a period of three hundred years (1484-1787).

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