Angkor Thom



Temple of Literature

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The oldest and possibly the finest architectural complex in Hanoi, Van Mieu or the Temple of Literature, was established in 1070, during the Ly Dynasty (1009–1225). Founded in honor of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, it served as a center for higher learning, edu cating future mandarins for more than seven centuries. The temple was modeled on the ori ginal Temple of Confucius in the Chinese city of Qufu, and  consists of five courtyards, the first two of which feature well- tended gardens. Each courtyard is separated by walls and  ornamental gate ways, and a central pathway through the complex divides it into two symmetrical halves.

Human Chess During Tet, the fourth courtyard is the venue for human chess. Dressed in colorful cos tumes, the parti ci pants, each repre senting a chess piece, move accor ding to direc tions given by players.

Well of Heavenly Clarity A square pool known as Thien Quang Tinh or the Well of Heavenly Clarity dominates the third courtyard. On either side of the pond are covered buildings that house 82 stone stelae, the most prized relics of the temple.

. Khue Van Cac Also known as the Constellation of Literature, this ornate gate was built in 1805 to reflect the brilliance of Van Mieu’s literary legacy. Its upper story features four radiating suns facing the cardinal points.

The Music Room A small orchestra of traditional musicians and singers stage regular performances next to the Altar of Confucius, using traditional Vietnamese stringed instruments

Great Drum The counterpart of the bell tower to the west of Thai Hoc Hall is a giant drum standing to the east. These two towers appear together in traditional Sinitic architecture.

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