The literary temple is a Confucian complex built as a national academy in the west of the old town of Hanoi. It is the most prominent of the literary temples in Vietnam. The term “literary temple” does not refer to a temple, nor was it used for religious purposes. The collection of the 82 stelae (Doctor’s Steles of Le-Mac Dynasties, Văn Miếu-Quoc Tu Giam) in the literature temple was included in the UNESCO World Documentary Collection on 9 March 2010.
The complex is divided into five walled courtyards, which are arranged along a north-south axis according to the classical scheme of Chinese residential and temple complexes. Ways and gates in the central area of the axis (main axis) were reserved for the rulers alone. The sideways along the walls were used by servants and soldiers.
The literary temple is located south of the Citadel Thanglong. It covers an area of 54,000 square meters, with the lake of literature and the Giam Park being included in this figure. Two kilometers east lies the Hoan Kiem Lake.