Location: Formerly, various Temple of
Literature were built by the Nguyen Lords in the capital and moved to three
different places: Trieu Son Village, Luong Quang Village and Long Ho Village.
Characteristic: The Temple of Literature is a worship temple founded by
the Nguyen Dynasty to dedicate to celebrated scholars of Confucianism.
In 1808, Gia Long and his Imperial Court decided to choose a low hill beyond the
Thien Mu Pagoda, on the left bank of the Perfume River, i.e. the current
position, to built a new imposing and striking Temple of Literature. The
construction of the Temple of Literature was commenced on April 17th, 1808 and
finished on November 12th, 1808.
The Temple of Literature faces south. All main constructive works were built on
the top of the hill, three meters higher than the surrounding land. In front of
it was the Perfume River, in the back was villages, hills and mounts spreading
from Truong Son Range. All items of Hue Temple of Literature were erected on a
square surface of 160m long on each side enclosed by La Thanh (surrounding
wall). There was once a complex of 50 big and small constructions including 32
steles which bore names of doctors and four other steles. The Temple of
Literature was many times renovated and many sub - constructions were built,
especially in Minh Mang and Thieu Tri's time. From Minh Mang's time onwards,
National Examinations were held so that steles bearing the names of successful
candidates were erected here. These "Tien si de danh bia" - "Steles bearing
doctors' names" were gradually erected on the yard of the main temple from 1831
to 1919, the year in which the last National Examinations was held in Khai
Dinh's time. As destroyed by the war and weather, the remains of the Temple of
Literature are now the 34 steles of great cultural and historic value. On these
steles are names, ages and places of birth of 239 successful candidates in
National Examinations organized in the Nguyen Dynasty. Hue Temple of Literature
is valuable historic remains. To visit it, tourists can understand more about
the tradition of knowledge appreciation, scholars’ administration and study
encouragement of our ancestors from the old time.