Visiting the Temple of Literature in Vinh Long Vietnam
Visiting the Temple of Literature in Vinh Long, on the river bank of Long Ho River, on Tran Phu Street, Ward 4, Vinh Long Town, Vinh Long Province there is a Temple of Literature, built from 1864 to 1866 by Phan Thanh Gian and Nguyen Thong, two mandarins from the Nguyen Dynasty.
This temple is one of the Temples of Literature in three southern regions possessed of traditional fondness for learning, Vinh Long Province, Bien Hoa Dong Nai Province Vietnam and Saigon Gia Dinh.
Nowadays, the Temple of Literature in Vinh Long Province Vietnam, acknowledged a National Heritage by the Ministry of Culture and Information, is one of the most popular tourism sites in the area.
Tourists enter the tile-roofed temple through a three-door gate, the middle door is twice as large as the other side doors. On the two pillars of the gate is a pair of wooden panels inscribed with sentences about the talent and virtue of Confucius.
On the main path leading to the temple is a two-meter high stone stele created in 1867, inscribed with an essay by Phan Thanh Gian recording the credit of the builders of the temple.
Three cannons are positioned on the corridors of the temple, which has four structures. The first is the sanctum, built on a foundation of rock one meter wide. Inside the sanctum is a holy place to worship Confucius and four other Chinese philosophers. On either side of the sanctum are two small temples to worship 27 talented students of Confucius.
The fourth structure is the Van Xuong council chamber where feudal intellectuals gather to read books, learn and discuss with each other. On the third floor of the council chamber is the place to worship Van Xuong De Quan, the god taking care of studies and examinations, as well as the happiness and prosperity of intellectuals.
Other Vietnamese scholars such as Vo Truong Toan, Phan Thanh Gian, Nguyen Thong, Truong Van Uyen and Nguyen Tri Man are also worshiped in the council chamber.
Situated on the river bank between two rows of ancient trees growing on the main path, the temple, with its ancient and tranquil beauty, has an airy and quiet atmosphere which puts visitors at ease as they view the statues of talented intellectuals and the artistic sculptures from rock and pottery in the ground of the temple.
Every year, the Temple of Literature holds traditional ceremonies on the fourth and fifth days of the Lunar first month and the twelfth and thirteenth day of the Lunar tenth month to worship the high-ranking mandarins attracting thousands of visitors.
Recently, the People’s Committee agreed to invest VND1bil to restore the temple to attract more visitors for sightseeing and research.