Quan Thanh Temple

Find delicate carvings and exquisite bronze statues at one of Hanoi’s four sacred temples.

Marvel at the impressive main entrance of Quan Thanh Temple where carved wooden doors stand below a white stone bell tower and fearsome dragon motifs. Step inside to view intricately engraved plates and a huge bronze statue of Tran Vu, the god of the north.

As you approach the temple, look for four pillars standing in front of the main entrance. These are decorated with statues of phoenixes and tigers and are an original part of the 11th-century structure. Pass through the curved central door and you will notice the stone dragons and round bell tower above your head.

Continue on to find yourself in a small courtyard that is sheltered from the sun by an old banyan tree. Wander around to take a closer look at the tanks of colorful fish as well as delicate pots of penjing, small bonsai-style trees.

Finally, make your way into the main temple building. As you enter you will pass bronze plates decorated with scripts and a music stone that is engraved with elaborate patterning. You can’t miss the figure of Tran Vu at the back of the temple. At just under 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weighing almost 4 tons (4.5 tonnes), this is the second-largest bronze statue in Vietnam and dates back to the 17th century. Note that the tortoise in the statue’s right hand represents longevity while the snake wrapped around the sword is a sign of strength.

Just across the room sits a separate bronze figure that depicts Old Trong, who was responsible for casting the statue of Tran Vu. The Old Trong figure was created by students of Trong’s casting guild after his death, as a mark of their gratitude for his work.

Make the short walk to Quan Thanh Temple from Thanh Nien and Quan Thanh Street on the shores of Truc Bach Lake. It is open daily and there is a small entrance fee.


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