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Discover Thang Long Tu Tran – the four most sacred temples in Hanoi

Discover Thang Long Tu Tran | Since earning the status of the nation’s capital in 1010, the ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel or Hanoi today has withstood the test of time thanks to the four sacred protectors who are currently worshiped at four temples in the four cardinal points of the city.

Thang Long Tu Tran

Discover Thang Long Tu Tran | These four sacred temples are the Bach Ma Temple guarding the East of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel; the Quan Thanh Temple securing the North; Voi Phuc Temple protecting the West, and Kim Lien Temple watching over the South.

discover thang long tu tran

Each of these temples embodies a story with its own historical, cultural, and architectural values, also showing Vietnamese people’s worshiping tradition of thousands of years at hundreds of holy sites across the country.

Thank its outstanding spiritual and historical values, these Thang Long’s Four Sacred Temples in Hanoi have just been recognized by the Government as new special monuments of the nation.


The Bach Ma Temple, which literally means the white horse was built under the reign of King Ly Thai To (974-1028) during the 1010s.

It features a wooden frame and large columns in the main building with a three-door gate, a place for burning incense, a forbidden chamber, and sophisticated effigies. It still keeps lots of old valuable relics such as stone steles, palanquins, cranes, and pairs of earthen statues for worshiping.


Among these four sacred temples, Quan Thanh Temple is the most famous. According to historians, the temple was also built in the 1010s to protect the north of today’s capital. It worships Tran Vu Genie who was believed to help Hung Kings expel invaders and assist the people in the fight against evil ghosts and natural disasters.

The tourist attraction which is located on the bank of the West Lake is famous for its architecture that includes a three-arch gate, temple yard, and the three main buildings of the front hall, annex, and back hall.


The lesser-known Voi Phuc Temple was built inside today’s Thu Le Zoo. Built in a muddy lagoon in 1065, Voi Phuc Temple is dedicated to Prince Hoang Chan, also known as Linh Lang Dai Vuong, the son of King Ly Thai Tong (1000–1054). The temple, however, was heavily damaged under French colonialism and rebuilt later.


Kim Lien Temple is the last one that was built to protect the South of ancient Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The youngest protector of the city was built in 1509 to honor Cao Son Dai Vuong.


worship (v): thờ phụng

embody (v): thể hiện, hiện thân

wooden frame : khung gỗ

forbidden chamber: cấm cung

effify (n): hình nộm

stone steles: bia đá

palanquin (n): kiệu

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