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Quan Thanh Temple, Ha Noi

Quan Thanh temple (Hanoi) is located at the crossroads of Thanh Nien Street and Quan Thanh Street, near West Lake, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi. Built during the reign of King Ly Thai To (1010-1028) and renovated many times, the temple is also called Tran Vu temple, since it is dedicated to Huyen Thien Tran Vu (Guardian of the North of the Country). Quan Thanh temple is an important historical and cultural place in Hanoi. According to the legend, Tran Vu is a figure who helped King An Duong Vuong chase away demons during the construction of Co loa Citadel. The temple first existed in the south of the To Lich River (1160) but then was moved to the North-west of the capital (the present site) (1474). It is one of the “Thang Long Tu Tran” which honours the Holly Figures guarding at four main directions (East – West – south – North) of the ancient Thang Long citadel. Quan Thanh temple attracts visitors for its famous special and beautiful structure and religious cultural place.

From the temple’s gate, you will see a majestic 3-door entrance which was built on large stones with a bell tower on its top. The tiger standing in front of the temple is considered to be the guard of the temple. Passing through the gate is a large yard shaded by a banyan tree with a basin of goldfish and a rock work. Going inside the temple, visitors will be caught by the giant black bronze statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vu which is 3.72 in height and four tons in weight. The statue appears as a sitting Taoist hermit, the left hand passes magic and the right hand holds a sword shrouded by a snake propping against the back of a tortoise. This is a special sculpture with a refined casting technique of Vietnamese people in the 17th century. Inside the temple, there is also a statue of “Old Trong” who made the statue of Saint Tran Vu. Old Trong’s students cast it to express their gratitude to the teacher when he died.

Quan Thanh temple is also renowned for the woodcarving. Many wooden structures in the temple were carved skilfully with different shapes and patterns such as four sacred animals, fish, fir trees, bamboo trees, flower baskets, swords and daily activities on the heaven and the earth.
Religious visitors often come to Quan Thanh temple at the Lunar New Year and on the first and fifteen day of the lunar month. The purpose is to worship and pray for health, luck and happiness. Visitors also can enjoy the spacious and charming landscapes here, relax and find out the ancient and romantic beauty of Hanoi in the past and now.

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M. Rowley 2010-04-28

You would be sorry if you do not come to see this beautiful temple. This, I believe, is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The banyan-shaded courtyard is just too pleasant and serene. The four-ton bronze statue is truly impressive. Thank you Quan Thanh pagoda for being a memorable place to visit!



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