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Quan Thanh Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam

By on September 7, 2015 in Vietnam

I do like a good temple, and the Đền Quán Thánh, 1 Thanh Niên (cnr. Quán Thánh), Quận Ba Đình, Thành Phố Hà Nội (Quan Thanh Temple) didn’t disappoint.

The temple was built during the reign of King Ly Thai To (1010-1028) in 1010 and is dedicated to Huyen Thien Tran Vo (a God who guarded the north). Hence the temple is also sometimes called the Tran Vo Temple.

The temple was part of the gate defending the Thang Long capital. The temple originally contained a statue of Tran Vo carved in wood, however, this was replaced in 1677 with a black bronze statue 3.96 m high. The bronze statue (see below) shows a sitting “genie with hanging down hair” – this is Tran Vo, with his left-hand performing magic, and his right-hand on a sword. Tran Vo is leaning on a tortoise’s back.

In the temple, there is a 1.5 m high copper bell that was cast at the same time as the statue. The temple also has a number of stone stelae (see the post on the Temple of Literature for more details), and some 180 horizontal panels showing pictures and poems praising the charming landscape or relating “impressions” from poets in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Below is the Tran Vo statue. The original statue was carved from wood and was replaced in 1677 with the 3.96 m high black bronze statue below. The statue shows Tran Vo, with his left-hand performing magic, and his right-hand on a sword around which snakes are entwined. Tran Vo is leaning on a tortoise’s back.

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I enjoyed visiting the Quan Thanh Temple. It was nice to get away from the traffic of the Hanoi and to visit such a quiet, historical, and relaxing place.

Foursquare: Quan Thanh Temple

 

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
 

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