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The Temple of Literature complex in Hanoi has two components: the actual Temple for worshipping Confucius and other sages and scholars, and the Imperial Academy for the education of royalty, later expanding to excellent students nationwide. The Temple was built in 1070. The Academy followed six years later, becoming the first national university of Vietnam. Before exams, students often visit the Temple to pray. It’s believed that touching the heads of the stone turtles bearing the name of past graduates would bring luck, though barriers have been put up because the heads were being worn down over centuries. Learn more: Hanoi tours
Another educated historical figure is memorialized in the Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum complex. “Uncle Hồ”, as he is affectionately known, was the statesman, writer, poet, and journalist who led Vietnam towards reunification and peace. This complex also has two parts: the Mausoleum for housing the preserved remains of the leader, and the Museum for chronicling his life from carefree childhood to revolutionary adulthood. Like the Temple, it’s a common destination for school trips, so children can learn about his life and deeds. Veterans and civilian survivors of the war also visit to pay homage, as one would to a deceased family member.