Quan Thanh Temple
is located in Quan Thanh Ward, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi
. It is one of the four sacred temples
built in each of the cardinal directions to protect Hanoi's citadel from evil spirits. The temple was completed in the 11th Century dedicated to Huyen Thien Tran Vu (usually shortened to Tran Vu). Tran Vu is remembered for feats like chasing away the ghost and demons in Co Loa citadel and protecting Vietnam's northern border.
Quan Thanh Temple in the past
Situated on the southern bank of the West Lake, the Quan Thanh Temple combines the architectural features of China and Vietnam. However, the main building is not in bright yellow, it is in light blue which seems like white color seen from a distance. All of the plaques and couplets in the Quan Thanh Temple are in black background. The characters are inlayed, which seems sparkling.
In front of the gate, there are four white pillars with the embossment decoration of phoenix and Chinese dragon, which looks exquisitely. At the foot of the dragon, there are the embossment of tigers. Between each two pillars, the colored dragon can be seen. On the arch over a gateway which is the eaves roof of the second floor, visitors can see the characters Zhen Wu Guan which means Quan Thanh Temple. In the smoky atmosphere, visitors can dimly see the dragons made of blue and white porcelain pieces on the roof ridge. Near the Stele Pavilion within the temple, the young people are practicing martial arts and some westerners are learning Tai Ji.
The four white pillars in front of the gate
The words "Zhen Wu Guan" on the roof
The Northern Emperor Quan Thanh is worshipped in the main hall. The statue is made of bronze. Built in 1681, it is at a length of 3.7 meters and at a weight of 4 tons. The sculpture is in the posture of standing on a stone turtle, with a treasured sword in each hand. The swords are twined by snakes which represent power. Because it is said that there was a demon fox with nine tails hazarded the local people. The deity was dispatched by the Jade Emperor to conquer the demon by sword and magic arts. Since then, the lord of successive dynasties in Vietnam came here to conjure and conquer the demon.
The main hall of the temple
Quan Thanh Temple is a precious monument on culture, art, architecture and sculpture, worth a impressive tourist spot in Hanoi tourism.