Quan Thanh Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is one of the oldest temples in the city and has a long history dating back to the 11th century.
History Of Quan Thanh Temple
According to legend, the temple was founded by King Ly Thai To, who ruled Vietnam from 1009 to 1028. The king had a dream in which he was advised to build a temple dedicated to the Tran Vo Ong Dai Tranh, one of the Four Immortals in Chinese mythology. The temple was originally called Tran Vu, but it was later renamed to Quan Thanh, which means “Protecting the King.”
Over the centuries, the temple has undergone several renovations and expansions. In the 18th century, the temple was destroyed by the Qing dynasty during their invasion of Vietnam. It was later rebuilt in the 19th century, and many of the temple’s current structures date from this period.
Today, Quan Thanh Temple is an important place of worship for Buddhists in Hanoi, and it is also a popular tourist attraction. The temple features a large bronze statue of the Tran Vo Ong Dai Tranh, as well as many other smaller statues and artifacts. It is a peaceful and serene place, and visitors can participate in various rituals and ceremonies or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Quan Thanh Temple is a historic temple located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is dedicated to the deity Tran Vo Bac De, who is revered as a guardian of the country and is believed to have helped the Vietnamese people defeat their enemies in the past.
Architecture Of Quan Thanh Temple
The temple features a graceful Vietnamese element of 19th century religious architecture. From outside in:
- The Four Pilars: The four-pilar structure is commonly seen in traditional architecture. They form a nominal portal guiding pilgrim into a formal passage amidst the opening space around.
- The Triple Arch Gate: The main entrance into the enclosure. The 2-story structure features traditional style with a set of triple archways at the lower level, and a belfry with 2-tier curve roofs above. At the far corners of the enclosure there are 2 “Horse Dismount” stones which in the olden days commanded passers-by to get off and walk their horses past the temple.
- The Courtyard: The courtyard is shaded with old trees, adorned with fish tanks and bonsais. A pair of elephants on their knees saluting on bothside of the central path.
- The Front Hall: The front hall displays traditional techniques in wood-frame constructions, adorned with carvings and dominated by red and gold laquer. There are lots of old scripts and a number of stone steles dating between 1677 and 1894. In a corner there is a little shrine honoring Vu Cong Tran, the mandarin in charge of the 17th century restoration of the temple. Many mistook him for Trum Trong, chief artisan of Ngu Xa village who oversaw the casting of Tran Vu statue.
- The Back Hall: This inner sancturary is the most anticipated part of the temple as it holds the statue of Tran Vu. He is depicted as a wise and powerful figure, with a serious expression on his face and a long beard flowing down his chest. he statue is surrounded by a number of smaller statues and figurines, as well as traditional Vietnamese altar objects such as incense burners and offerings of fruit and flowers. Visitors to the temple can pay their respects to the deity by bowing and offering prayers or small gifts.
The Statue of Quan Thanh In The Temple
The magnificent bronze work was made in 1677, measuring 4 metre high, weighing 4 ton, depicting Tran Vu in the pose of a martial mandarin in armour. He rests his right hand on a sword, around which serpents writhe, a symbol of his power to banish evils.
Quan Thanh Temple and the Bronze Working Art
Bronze working has a long history in Vietnam, with evidence of bronze casting dating back to the Dong Son culture (circa 1000 BC – 100 AD). In the 17th century, bronze casting was a well-established art form in Vietnam and was used to create a wide range of objects, including weapons, tools, musical instruments, and decorative items.
During this time, bronze casting was typically done using the lost-wax casting method, which involves creating a mold of the desired object using beeswax or another pliable material. The mold is then coated in clay and heated, causing the wax to melt and drain away, leaving a negative impression of the object. Molten bronze is then poured into the mold, and once it has cooled and hardened, the clay is broken away to reveal the finished bronze object.
In the 17th century, bronze casting in Vietnam was typically done by skilled artisans who were trained in the technique. Many of the objects created during this time were highly detailed and ornate, reflecting the high level of craftsmanship and artistic skill of the bronze casters. Today, bronze casting is still an important part of Vietnamese culture and continues to be an important part of the country’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Festival Of Quan Thanh Temple
Each year, the temple hosts a number of annual festivals and events, including the Quan Thanh Temple Festival, which is held in honor of the deity on 3rd day of 3rd lunar month. The festival typically takes place in the spring and includes a number of traditional activities, such as rituals, performances, and offerings. The festival is an opportunity for people to come together to honor the deity and pay respects to their ancestors. It is also a time for people to enjoy the cultural traditions and customs of Vietnam.
Attractions Near Quan Thanh Temple
In addition to these attractions, Quan Thanh Temple is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and courtyards, which are a great place to relax and take in the peaceful atmosphere of the temple. The temple sits at the southern end of Thanh Nien Street which splits the smaller Truc Bach Lake from the huge West Lake.
Not far away from the temple one can walk past the memorial of late US Senator John McCain, a shot down pilot in October 1967.