Van Mieu

(Temple of Letters): The Temple of Letters was a place dedicated to Confucian deities. It was here that all talents of the country were trained. The temple was built between April 17, 1808 and September 12 of the same year on an atop low hill near Thien Mu pagoda, adjoining the left bank of the Huong river.

The Temple of Letters faces south on a square-shaped mound, each side spanning 160m with its surrounding walls. It consists of about fifty small and large constructions, of which 33 steles were inscribed with the names, ages and native villages of 239 doctors in the examinations in the Nguyen era and various others.

The temple, particularly its additional constructions, was renovated several times in the reign of Minh Mang and Thieu Tri Kings. Many Metropolitan examinations were organized since Minh Mang’s reign and doctor’s steles were erected between 1830 and 1919.

For more than a half of this century, the Temple of Letters has been damaged by nature and wars. Consequently, it remains merely a deserted and devastated place. The temple, just recently, has been renovated by local authorities with an effort of preserving the historic relics of art as well as the cultural and historical value.

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