Situated in the park behind the museum near Ba Dinh Square, the One Pillar Pagoda represents a lotus flower growing up out of the water. According to the legend, the pagoda was built following a dream of Ly Thai Tong Emperor, in which he met Avalokiteshvara (Quan Am), and he was given a baby son resting on a lotus flower. The pagoda was created in resemblance of this lotus flower which is also the Buddhist symbol of enlightenment.
During the Ly Dynasty era, this was the site of annual royal ceremony on the occasion of Vesak (the birthday of Buddha), and annual Buddha-bathing ceremony.
One Pillar Pagoda is well-known for its unique architecture. It is built of wood on a single stone pillar, which is 1.25 meter in diameter and 4 meter in height, and is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, Buddhist symbol of purity. Inside of the temple, there is the main alter with a richly gilded statue of Quan Am at the center.
The pagoda is open daily from 8AM to 5PM, and entrance is free. Refreshments is available at a stand nearby; you can sit, drink the water, and enjoy fresh air, peaceful atmosphere while looking around the surrounding gardens. Appropriate clothes should be worn if you want to enter the temple.