Van Thanh Mieu is a majestic architecture worshipping Confucius. It’s one of the three best Van Thanh Mieu temples constructed in the 19th century in southern Vietnam. It has been renovated several times but the temple remains its old architecture.
As you know, the name of the temple, Van Thanh Mieu means a temple that worships the holy literary genius. In fact, this title was conferred upon Confucius, whom Vietnamese call “Van The Su Bieu” (the eternal teacher). Now the temple lies on a big land with the entire structure in the Confucian style.
History of Van Thanh Mieu Temple
Van Thanh Mieu Temple in Vinh Long was established in 1864 and the construction was finished by the end of 1866. This followed the initiative of a mandarin of the Nguyen Dynasty, Phan Thanh Gian, who used to be the education officer of Vinh Long in 1862. The temple is situated on a giant land, on the banks of Long Ho River in Ward 4.
Phan Thanh Gian is known as the local hero leading a revolt against the French colonist and the one initiating to build this temple. The temple also organizes many traditional ceremonies to commemorate him and his devotion to the nation.
Apparently, the growth of Confucianism largely affected those living in the Southern provinces in the 19th century. For this reason, every talented Confucians were worshipped the ancient houses and their names get recorded here. No wonder why Van Thanh Mieu Temple has been known as a historical site drawing thousands of visitors annually.
What to see in Van Thanh Mieu Temple
It’s because the temple lies nearby the town, you’ll see the street paved with concrete so it’s quite easy to reach the place without difficulty. Strolling along to Van Thanh Mieu, you and other tourists get to feel the fresh airflow of the wind blowing from Long Ho River.
The gate to Van Thanh temple owns two roofs painted in golden shade. This color is often used by the royal family in the past. Besides, the gate has an arch while the main entrance is bigger than the other two ports. Look at the portal where you can see the Chinese line “Van Thanh Temple”.
Step into the main area of the temple, there’s a big temple in the middle of the building called Dai Thanh. This place is used for worshipping Confucius and four other of his most well-known disciples. Also, it includes two small shrines named Ta Vu and Huu Vu lying in two other sides. These are where worships 72 talented students of Confucius.
Interestingly, there’s a library of books for scholars and an area used to hold meetings and many literary discussions. We call it Van Xuong Cac. Go upstairs, you will encounter three monks specializing in the study of the exams. Apart from Phan Thanh Gian, many people were admired during that time, such as Van Xuong De Quan and Vo Thien Toan.
The first floor was availed by intellectuals and Confucian scholars, and it’s the place where people tend to gather and read books. They usually debate about literature and poetry. As said before, a lot of Vietnamese scholars are worshiped in the house, from Phan Thanh Gian, Nguyen Thong, Vo Truong Toan to Truong Van Uyen and Nguyen Tri Man. So don’t miss your chance to visit them all here.
Since lying on the bank between two separate rows of the old trees, Van Thanh Mieu temple owns an ancient and serene beauty that can put you at ease. Go to experience that while you’re watching the statues of the intellectuals on the grounds of the place.
But not just the attractiveness of the temple, its ancient architecture and even the imprint on the temple as well as the shade trees can make your heartbeat fast. The garden I’m talking here is quite large and spacious.
You can see many old trees and flowers planted around. Just walk under the shade and let the wind cool down your tiredness. Don’t forget about listening to the rustling leaves that mingle with the lovely songs of the birds. No doubt, there’s nowhere else you can find peace than this place.
On the twelfth and thirteenth days of the 10th lunar month, the temple also holds some rituals to commemorate the high-ranking mandarins. In March 1991, this was recognized as the national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Arriving at Van Thanh Mieu in Vinh Long Province, tourists get a chance to learn a small part of the culture and history of Vietnam. Aside from admiring the gorgeous design of the temple, you might be proud of the talented hands of people in the past.