Hanoi is the most charming city in Vietnam thanks to its cultural, historical and spiritual heritage. In addition, it is one of the cities that should be dedicated more time to it, since it hides corners that make you fall in love as soon as you meet them. Visiting the Quan Thanh Temple is one of the essential things to see and do in Hanoi, although sometimes as it is not one of the most popular temples, it goes unnoticed by travelers. Something that I love, since entering it ensures you a quiet visit, full of peace in a very Zen atmosphere.
THE TAOIST TEMPLE OF QUAN THANH
This beautiful temple draws attention for being a white temple, in which we find signs of wear and the passage of time. Something that adds an additional charm. It shows the traditional Vietnamese architecture. In this post I tell you a little about its history, what to see in the temple and some curiosities.
A little history of the Quan Thanh temple
Quan Thanh Temple, den Quan Thanh in Vietnamese means "tent of the gods".
It is an important cultural and historical place in Hanoi and therefore it is a must visit place to do in Hanoi. According to the story, the Quan Thanh temple was built during the reign of Ly Thai To (between 1010 and 1028), the legendary founder of the great Vietnamese Ly dynasty, in honor of the Taoist God Tran Vu, the determined defender of the north. from Vietnam.
Quan Thanh Temple faces north and is one of four holy temples built on each cardinal point to protect the capital from malicious spirits.
The Quan Thanh Temple has undergone various renovations over the centuries. King Le Hy Tong first ordered its restoration in the year 1677, the statue of God Tran Vu and the temple bell, both in black bronze, were the main decorations of the temple.
The bronze statue of Tran Vu measures almost 4 meters, weighs 4 tons and rests on a marble base. Being one of the largest statues in Vietnam and recognized as a bronze casting masterpiece from the early 17th century, the Tran Vu statue has been declared a national treasure.
The Tran Vu genie is reproduced seated in the garb of a Taoist priest, with his hair flowing behind his neck, in the clothing of a Taoist warrior and seer, with a square face, his feet are bare, his left hand is in a raised position. of exorcism and his right hand rests on the handle of a sword around which a snake is wrapped while the point rests on the shell of a turtle.
What to see in Quan Thanh Temple
To access the Quan Thanh temple grounds you will enter through an impressive stone portico, with three entrances, crowned by a monumental bell, 1.60m high. You can see several parallel sentences written on the portico. In front of the entrance, pay attention to the four large pillars decorated with reliefs that represent the omnipresent sacred animals in traditional Vietnamese culture, such as the tiger, the dragon, the unicorn or the phoenix.
Once you enter the enclosure, you will find a garden of mango trees, which provide shade and peace to the place. Thanks to them, the chaotic external noise of Hanoi is out of doors.
Crossing the courtyard you find the sanctuary. Check out its ritual crematoria in the garden and the details of the sanctuary; its doors, frames, structures, an altar lacquered in red and gold... The wood carving is a true work of art. A traditional Vietnamese handicraft very present in the Red River Delta for centuries.
The enclosure also has a pair of side doors. For which formerly the temple could also be accessed.
In this courtyard you can admire the magnificent statue of God Tran Vu covered with brilliant black coloration. You also can't miss the life-size statue of Ly Trong Trung, the founder of the colossal Tran Vu warrior statue. Ly Trong Trung's statue was executed by his own students who wanted to pay homage to their missing teacher.
Quan Thanh Temple remains one of the last Taoist temples in Vietnam and represents multiple cultural values of Hanoi and Vietnam. It is a spiritual place that invites you to take a breather and disconnect from the chaos of the city.
What to see near Quan Thanh Temple
Quan Thanh Temple is situated between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake. The first, the largest in Hanoi, houses another of the essential places to see in Hanoi; Tran Quoc Pagoda. The oldest pagoda in the capital of Vietnam. It is quickly recognized by its beautiful 15 meter high red brick stupa.
Truc Bach Lake is a small lake that is perfect for walking or cycling around, especially in May when the lake's extravagant shores are dotted with lots of red flowers. Around the lake there are many small cafes where you can sit quietly for a Vietnamese coffee or tea.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful temple and the places that surround it. It is well worth walking and getting here.
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I hope you enjoy Hanoi very much, it is a beautiful city with a lot of interesting places to visit. You can read all the Vietnam articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!