Friday, April 27, 2007

Temple of Literature 5

The Temple of Literature ( Van Mieu ), dedicated to Confucius, was founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. In 1076, Vietnam's first university was established here to educate Vietnam's administrative and warriors class. Parts of the university date from this earlier time period although the large complex has undergone many changes over the centuries. But recent archaeological study indicates that the architecture of this site belongs primarily to the Ly (1010-1225) and Tran (1225-1400) Dynasties. The complex is in a tranquil park-like site in the heart of central Hanoi. The progression is essentially axial from the entrance gate to the central temple sanctuary

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.

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