Built in the mid-15th century, Mao Dien Temple of Literature was opened by the Later Le Dynasty to train Confucian scholars and worship Confucius. Up to now, the Temple of Literature is more than 500 years old with a large scale and is classified as a special national relic. Whenever coming to Hai Duong, Mao Dien Temple of Literature is a place not to be missed.
Mao Dien Temple of Literature is the second oldest temple of literature in the North after only Quoc Tu Giam Temple. The Temple of Literature is the successor of the ancient town of Hai Duong. In the beginning, the Later Le Dynasty built a temple of literature to train Confucian scholars together with the Huong exam school. In the Tay Son period, it merged to become a training school for many generations of leading Confucian scholars, bachelors, and doctors. country. During the Mac Dynasty, there were four times when the Hoi exam was opened.
In 1948, the French colonialists attacked and invaded Mao Diem, occupied the Temple of Literature as a base, destroyed and turned the Temple of Literature into a wasteland. It was not until 2002, when the Temple of Literature was built and recreated to become a tourist attraction for tourists, especially students.
The landscape of Mao Dien Temple of Literature
Mao Dien Temple of Literature is located in Mau Tai village, Cam Dien commune, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong city. The road to the Temple of Literature is very convenient because it is located next to National Highway 5, visitors going in the direction of Hai Duong - Hanoi can see Mao Dien Temple of Literature from afar.
Mao Dien Temple of Literature is a large-scale, majestic, dignified and ancient work. The total area of the Temple of Literature is up to 3,6 hectares, harmoniously planned and structured from the inside out. The architecture is built in the style of Nhi with the main part consisting of 2 large buildings with 7 compartments.
1. Ritual Gate
Nghi Mon or the main gate of Mao Dien Temple of Literature stands in front of the outer courtyard, the architecture is divided into Chinh Mon, Ta Mon and Right Gate built in the form of a rolling arch. The main gate is placed in the middle of 5,7 m high, divided into two floors, in front there are 2 floating phoenix pillars, below there is a lantern hanging box, in front there is an umbrella hanging couplets. Ta Mon and Huu Mon have smaller structures with 2-storey roofs. The two sides of Nghi Mon are high walls running around the Temple of Literature.
2. The courtyard in the middle of the Temple of Literature
Stepping through Nghi Mon is the middle courtyard of the Temple of Literature with 2 large Doctor's steles. Each stele house has 7 compartments, 14 steles on tortoise shells, of which 1 stele engraved the history of the temple, the remaining 13 stele names 637 doctors. The front of the stele is engraved with Chinese characters, the back side is translated into the national language.
Behind the middle yard, there are two large rectangular Thien Quang lakes. In the middle of the lake, there is a stone bridge crossing. On both sides of the lake are two smaller stele houses recording the restoration of the Temple of Literature. The stele house retains 2 clear bluestone steles, 2 of which are intact, 3 of which has been worn away. The first plate was erected in 2, recording the history of moving the Temple of Literature from Binh Giang to Cam Giang, named "Tan Dau Trong Thu Coc Nhat Dai". The second plate was created in 1, recording the restoration of the Temple of Literature and the completion of the works inside: the Hau Cung, the bell tower, the drum floor; named "Reconstruction of the Temple of Literature".
3. The courtyard in the Temple of Literature
The two sides of the courtyard in the Temple of Literature are the Bronze Bell Laurel weighing 1042kg and the Drum Pavilion, both built of ironwood, next to an ancient rice tree hundreds of years old. On the East and West sides, there are two rows of Giai Vu houses located opposite each other called Dong Vu and Tay Vu.
Mao Dien Temple of Literature has a "second" architecture including Bai Duong and Hau Duong buildings. Each building is divided into 7 small compartments. The altar is the place of worship for the mandarins, and the place where the altar of the Council is located. In Bai Duong, two ancient relics are kept: a stone incense burner on the communal altar and a stone altar left from the Tay Son period. The bangle is made of monolithic stone with clear sound thanks to the first-class skill of the 2th century stone mason.
Hau Duong is the place to place the tablets of the Confucian scholars. In the middle is a tablet to worship Confucius, on both sides are 8 tablets of teacher Chu Van An and outstanding children of Hai Duong province. Among them is the only poinsettia of the country, Nguyen Thi Due.
Experience visiting the Mao Dien Temple of Literature
February every year is the most suitable time to visit the Mao Dien Temple of Literature because this is the month of opening the Temple of Literature. On the first day of February, the Confucius ceremony will be held to uphold the studious tradition of the people of Hai Duong province. Visitors to the relic at this time can not only attend the sacrifice ceremony, offer incense in memory of the nation's leading Confucius, but also hear the story of the Temple of Literature and the ups and downs in the history of the Temple of Literature. How does it change.
Mao Dien Temple of Literature deserves to be a rare heritage of Vietnam. The Temple of Literature is not only a place to keep traces of a school specializing in training talented Confucians, but also a living witness to tell children and grandchildren when they want to find their roots.