Built in the year of 1070 by the king Ly Thanh Tong( Ly dynasty from 1010 - 1225), The complex consits of 2 parts: Van Mieu( with 4 court yards) is used to worship the Chinese philosopher Confucius. This part was served as the education centre for the sons of the royal family only.
The second part, built in 1076 by the King Ly Nhan Tong, a son of King Ly Thanh Tong, opened this education centre to the public. Since then, all smart students who passed the entrance examination(Huong exam) would study here. It became the first university in Vietnam.
Passing Huong exam, students studied here for 3 to 7 years. During this time, theyhad to take 3 major exams a year and 3 minor exams a month. Having enough conditions, they took Thi Hoi exam to become the king's officals. However, the 3th exam - Thi Dinh was born after one of the Kings realising the cheating in these exams. The King himself interviewed the students to make sure they were smart.
It served as the 1st and biggest education centre for over 800 years in Vietnam. It bore the value of independence and a solidifying of national culture - Still present are are 82 stone doctor stelae bearing the names of students who passed the these rigorous exams.
The most important features are located on the central path and minor monuments are built symmetrically from the first courtyard to the 5th courtyard lined out in order.
The most outstanding feature here is 82 stone carving doctoral steles recorded 1306 students who were awarded doctorates. These 82 stone steles were realised as UNESCO World heritage documment of education in 2010. The Temple of Literature highlights Hanoi tour with both its history and stunning architecture.
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