“Thang Long Tu Tran” - includes 4 temples, protecting 4 directions of Thang Long citadel (the old name of Hanoi), respectively:
- Quan Thanh Temple (Northern Guardian) is at the end of Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District.
- Bach Ma Temple (Eastern Guardian) is at 76 Hang Buom Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Voi Phuc Temple (Western Guardian) is at 306B, Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, next to Thu Le Park.
- Kim Lien Temple (Southern Guardian) is in Phuong Lien Ward, Dong Da District.
I - History of Quan Thanh Temple
This temple was built in 1010 to dedicate Huyen Thien Tran Vu deity in order to chase away evils, demons, succubi,...Undergoing through ups and downs of different feudal dynasties, Quan Thanh was renovated 7 times both in exteriors and interiors from 1618 to 1941, all were recorded in epitaphs, including three-entrance gate, courtyard, the pre-worshiping area, the main-worshiping hall, the harem and auxiliary houses. After renovation, this temple has remained the countenance until today.
II - Architecture of Quan Thanh Temple
Three-entrance gate or Tam Quan gate
In front of Tam Quan gate are 4 stone pillars with 4 statues at the top and 2 folding screens of embossed tiger images. Tam Quan gate includes one primary entrance in the middle and two auxiliary ones on the sides where there have been plants and rivers carved in the bas - reliefs. The gate roof has an ascending dragon carved delicately. Passing the gate, you will see a spacious courtyard with lots of green trees, penjings,...
The pre-worshiping area is located right after the penjing, with two meticulously and uniquely designed kneeling elephant statues in the front of the forecourt. The interior of the forecourt in Temple Quan Thanh contains religious items of an altar, a high and narrow desk and a statue of Mr. Trum Trong, a master sculptor who made Tran Vu deity statue. Images about 4 sacred animals, bats, fish, wine gourds, swords, scenes of life on earth and heaven are carved delicately in wooden parts.
The left pre - worshiping area hangs a quite large black bronze bell called “Khanh”. The “Khanh” is 1,25 meters wide and 1,1 meter high, cast in 1784. The front outer of the bronze “Khanh” was carved with a pair of large copper lamps with unique patterns.
The "Khanh" - Source: Wikipedia
The main - worshiping hall
The main hall has 4 layers of roof, in the middle hung a horizontal lacquered board engraved “Tran Vu Quan” - the old name of Quan Thanh Temple Hanoi. The highlight of this hall is the black statue of Tran Vu deity.
This statue has great historical and artistic values. It was cast in 1677 and became the largest bronze statue in the north of Vietnam, demonstrating the bronze casting techniques and talent of Vietnamese artists at that time. The statue is 3,96 meters high, 8 meters in circumference and 4 tons in weight, sitting majestically in head - in position looking straight on the 1.2 high marble rock. Its face is in square shape (田), making it both majestic and gentle. The left hand is placed in front of his chest to catch the sermon’s seal while the right hand holds the sword which is shrouded by a snake propping against the back of a turtle. (turtle, snake and sword are symbols of Huyen Thien Tran Vu deity).
III - Information for tourists
1 - Quan Thanh Temple opening hours
Temple opens from 8.00am to 5.00pm every day, 6.00am to 8.00pm on holidays.
Open all day on the Lunar New Year Eve.
2 - Entrance fee
10.000 VND (0.43 USD)/adult, 5.000 VND (0.22 USD)/children.
3 - How to get there
Bus: Bus No. 45, 14 and 50 to get off near the temple. Ticket price: 7.000 VND ($0.3) (access the website https://map.busmap.vn/hn for more information about the bus lines and bus stops).
Motorbike: You can park your motorbike in the wide sidewalk areas along 2 sides of Tam Quan gate. This parking area is authorized by the local government. Parking fee: 5.000 VND ($0.22)/ time.
4 - Worshipping activities in the temple
The temple opens for people to thurify and devote offerings all year round and ismore crowded on holidays, the 1st day & the full moon day of the lunar calendar.
On the third of March of the lunar calendar, the temple celebrates the Quan Thanh Temple festival for Hanoians to commemorate the sacred Huyen Thien Tran Vu deity, who chased away the demons and protected the North of Thang Long citadel for a peaceful life. There will be many rituals with different religious activities such as: pen descending, dream and prosperity praying. In particular, the pen descending rite is to counsel, teach, and pray for the god's blessings.
You can also experience some other activities such as: visiting One - Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, Tran Quoc Pagoda; enjoying West Lake cuisine namely steamed rolled rice pancake at No.29 Thuy Khue Street, West Lake Crisp shrimp pastry at No.1 Thanh Nien Street or ice-cream, Lang Son roasted duck and pork at No.40 An Duong Street.
Quan Thanh Temple Hanoi is typical for its spiritual religion of Hanoians in particular and Vietnamese in general. At the temple, you can thurify or research a part of Vietnam’s history, or even contemplate its beauty.