The Temple of Literature – Quoc Tu Giam is a historical monument that symbolizes Vietnam’s cultural development process, is a proof of Vietnam’s contribution to the Confucian civilization in the region and a culturally humane culture of the World.
Temple of Literature and Quoc Tu Giam are the leading and diverse complexes of Hanoi capital. During the Ly Dynasty – Quoc Tu Giam located in the south of Thang Long citadel, was a complex of two monuments: Temple of Literature worships Confucius, Confucian sages and Quoc Tu Giam worship Chu Van An who was a national – teacher typical high ethics of Vietnam education; Quoc Tu Giam – The first university of Vietnam.
The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong (1054-1072), with statues of Chu Cong, Khong Tu and his four students are Nhan Tu, Tang Tu, Tu Tu and Manh Tu and drawings of the sages, four seasons of worship
In 1076, King Ly Nhan Tong built the Quoc Tu Giam house next to the Temple of Literature. Initialy, the school is only for the king and the children of the noble officials (should be called Quoc Tu). Since 1253, King Tran Thai Tong expanded Quoc Tu Giam and accepted the children of ordinary people with excellent academic qualifications.
During the reign of King Tran Minh Tong, Chu Van An was appointed as the official of the National Prince of Industry (Principal) and the direct teacher of the princes. In 1370, Chu Van An passed away and was worshiped by King Tran Nghe Tong in Van Mieu next to Confucius.
In the late Lê Dynasty, Confucianism was very popular. In 1484, King Le Thanh Tong commissioned a stele of those who passed doctorate from the 1442 exam onwards. Now there are only 82 steles left.
Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam’s stele was recognized by Unesco as a World Documentary Heritage under the World Memory Program on March 9, 2010. After the Nguyen Dynasty Woodblocks, Van Mieu’s stele is the second documentary heritage of Vietnam to be listed in the World Documentary Heritage list.