Temple of Literature
7:30-18:00 in summer and 8:00-18:00 in winter (Local time)
In 1070 King Ly Thanh Tong founded this temple to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Six years later, it became home to Hanoi's first university. Even now, more than 200 years after the last national examination, the site's five courtyards still enjoy an atmosphere of higher learning. In 1484 Stele were erected to document the achievements of those who graduated. The Temple is composed of five courtyards, the first two are shady and provide a quiet buffer from the bustle of the surrounding streets, the third contains a large pond known as the "well of heavenly clarity". The fourth hosts the House of Ceremonies which contains a large statue of Confucius. It is flanked by souvenir shops. The last courtyard hold some of the largest structures including a bell tower and drum. Today, art students sit on the grass and try to reproduce the traditional Vietnamese architecture on paper. To get there the temple is also known as Van Mieu, most taxi drivers will know the name.