This wonderful Confucian temple is home to the Imperial Academy, Vietnam’s first national university, and was established in 1070. Its image even proudly graces the 100,000 VND banknote.
In times past the university only accepted members of the nobility and royal family as students, but it eventually opened its doors to the regular middle classes. New graduates once had their names engraved on certain stones, which can be found on top of the many stone turtles among the grounds.
The site is set over several acres and features several beautiful courtyard buildings in the traditional Vietnamese style as well as many fine plants, soothing ponds and a small museum.
Near exam time you can see local students praying for good luck, and just before the Vietnamese New Year celebration calligraphers assemble outside the temple and write good wishes in Chinese characters, with the works used as gifts or decorations for special occasions.
58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa
Open Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. / 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.