The Temple of the White Horse is rumoured to be one of the oldest temples in Hanoi. Built-in the 10th century and restored in the 18th century, there ornaments and relics dedicated to Confucianism. It is one of the four sacred gates which allowed entry into the Ancient Citadel of Thang Long.
A white horse came to visit Emperor Ly Thai Lo and guided him to this site. This was a sign to construct a gateway temple for the old Citadel of Thang Long. The Emperor built the Temple at this location, at the east of the city. These temples were gateways to enter in and out of the city and the Citadels first line of defence. The other Temples are Kim Lien Temple (guarding the South), Voi Phuc Temple (defending the West) and Quan Thanh Temple (watching out in the North).
The Temple’s reconstruction in the 18th Century now gives more of a Confucian feel to Bach Ma Temple. A shrine to Confucius can be seen along with an altar shaped like a Phoenix, for people to make offerings each season. A statue of the White Horse can be found inside the Temple. With Hanoi now being the vibrant hustle and bustle of a modern-day city with little room for remorse, this Temple is worth a visit to explore more about the history of the citadel.
Bach Ma Temple is located at 76 Hang Buom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Opening hours are 09:00-17:30 every day.