VietnamHanoiQuan Thanh Temple in Hanoi

Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi

Hanoi is an ancient city with deep, branching roots in history, resulting in many culturally important historical sites. One of them is the Quan Thanh Temple (also called Tran Vu Temple), situated beside the vast, tranquil West Lake and easily accessible from the center of Hanoi. The Quan Thanh Temple is yet another must-see temple when visiting Hanoi.

History of Quan Thanh Temple

quan thanh temple in hanoi history
Quan Thanh Temple in the past

The temple dates back to the 11th century and was constructed in dedication to one of the principal Taoist deities. Legend has it that the Quan Thanh Temple was built during the reign of Emperor Ly Thai To (reigned 1010-1028), who moved the capital from Hoa Lu (presently called Ninh Binh) to Thang Long (now known as Hanoi). The construction was to mark the beginning of the newly established capital and the birth of a prince.

The temple was dedicated to Tran Vu, the Deity of the North in Taoism, whose symbols of power are represented by a serpent and a turtle. According to history, the Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi is one of the Four Sacred Temples (Thang Long Tu Tran) erected to ward the city off evil spirits. Each of the four temples is positioned in their respective direction relative to the city’s center to worship a specific deity: Tran Vu in the north (Quan Thanh Temple), Bach Ma in the east (Bach Ma Temple), Cao Vuong in the south (Kim Lien Temple) and Linh Lang in the west (Voi Phuc Temple).

Architecture Of Quan Thanh Temple

Quan Thanh Temple main gate

Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi has been refurbished numerous times throughout the centuries, with its most recent massive update in 1893. The principal gate and the shrine were redecorated entirely, so the architecture now combines imperial styles.

The temple yard

The temple’s main features include a spacious yard with a giant banyan tree and many bronze statues and shrines. In the afternoon, locals would use this front space and the cool shade of the trees to practice martial arts.

What to See in Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi

Tran Vu bronze statue

Visitors can see the black bronze statue of Tran Vu, along with his two symbolic animals. The figure is the second-largest bronze statue in Vietnam and reflects the advanced bronze casting techniques of Vietnamese artisans in the 17th century.

The main shrine and its hall are lavishly decorated with bright red and gold, giving off a grand sense of respect. The shrine also contains a collection of valuable ancient texts, such as poems and duilians dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Some can be seen hanging above from the ceiling.

Shrine dedicated to other deities

Other smaller shrines can be found within the temple dedicated to other deities.

The pillars in front of the temple and its decorative architecture

Take a moment to admire the wondrous decorative architecture and the bronze statues and wooden carvings the temple offers.

Like any other temple, the Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi is a place of worship. Thus, it is recommended that visitors follow the dress code of dressing modestly. It is also good not to be rowdy and to keep a steady pace when exploring the temple.

How to Get to Quan Thanh Temple

Located in the Tay Ho District of Hanoi, Quan Thanh Temple can be reached by car or motorbike about 15 minutes from Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The calm and beautiful West Lake conveniently situates it.

Visitors can often make a day trip to Quan Thanh Temple and visit the nearby Tran Quoc Pagoda. The Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also nearby attractions.

Opening hours: 8 AM – 11 AM | 2 PM – 5 PM

Summary of Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi

The Quan Thanh Temple is worth a visit for those interested in cultural value or who admire historical architecture. It is also an excellent destination for visitors to Hanoi, as many other places of interest are located nearby.

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