Exhibition highlights beauty of Literature Temple
Update: Dec 19, 2017
Nearly 50 photos featuring the Literature Temple by night are on display at an exhibition being held at the temple in downtown Ha Noi.

Audience at the exhibition

The photos highlight the unique architecture of various buildings inside the temple complex, such as Khuê Văn Các pavillion, roofed areas for doctorate stales and the Dai Thanh worship building.

The exhibition also features values of 82 stone tablets in the complex, which record the royal examinations held under the Le-Mac dynasties (1442-1779) placed at the complex.

Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature – the First University of Viet Nam) was established between 1070 and1076 under the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225). After many royal examinations, in 1482, King Le Thanh Tong (who reigned from 1460 to 1497) ordered the erection of stone steles inscribed with the names and native lands of the first laureates of the royal examinations since the examinations began in 1442.

Between 1442 and 1779, 124 doctoral examinations were held, but now only 82 stone steles are preserved in Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam. The steles are placed on the back of stone turtles, a symbol of the immortality of the nation.

The 82 stone steles have great value in sculpture and calligraphy. All of them were carved from stone in Dong Son District, Thanh Hoa Province, by artisans of Kinh Mon District, Hai Duong Province, who are famous nationwide for making wood-blocks and for inscribing on stele. The steles with epitaphs composed by cultural celebrities and bright scholars of the country can be seen as pieces of art and are considered as “stone history sets” on Viet Nam’s Confucian education.

The stone steles’ collection was an inscription of the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme on March 9, 2010, and was recognised as a National Treasure on January 14, 2015. The total complex was recognised as a Special National Site on May 10, 2012.

The exhibition will run at the temple, 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, till February 20.