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The Temple of Literature is an oasis of peace away from the heavy traffic which is ubiquitous in Hanoi.
Thánh Tông, the third emperor of the Lý dynasty (Lý Nhật Tôn), built it in 1070 as the first educational institution for the sons of the mandarin and gifted persons.
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It was the first academy of the country and the national university which was built to honor Confucius. The educational institution was used until 1915. The temple is based on the temple in Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius.
The complex consists of 5 courtyards, the third courtyard is particularly noteworthy. Laterally, you see massive stone pillars on turtles.
The steles bear the inscriptions (name, place and results of the audit) of the 1307 graduates of the imperial examination. Only 82 out of the original 116 stelae exist today.
In 2010, the stelae were included by UNESCO in the World Documentary Heritage.
With the relocation of the imperial court to Hue, the academy has moved and the university in Hanoi lost to meaning.
The fourth courtyard was used for ceremonies. On its north side is the real Confucius Temple. Here, the people worship Confucius surrounded by his students.
The temple is a national monument of Vietnam.
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