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Beijing Temple of Confucius

Beijing Temple of Confucius

Tour Code : C2152
Type : Historic sites
City / Province : Beijing
Built in : 1302 B.C


Beijing Temple of Confucius is a place where people worshipped Confucius during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The main buildings are Xianshi Gate, Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Pavilion and Chongsheng Temple. Its neighbor in the west is Beijing Guozijian.

Beijing Temple of Confucius

  Beijing Confucius Temple is a place where people worshipped Confucius during the Yuan,Ming and Qing Dynasties.The temple is on Guo Zijian Street (also known as Chengxian Street) in Andingmen, Beijing. There are four painted wood arches built during the Qing Dynasty in Guozijian street and they are the best-preserved wooden arches in Beijing.

  The temple was built in 1302, and used as for worshipping Confucius until 1911. The compound was enlarged twice, during the Ming and Qing dynasties and now occupies some 20,000 square meters. From 1981 until 2005, the Temple of Confucius housed part of the art collection of the Capital Museum .

  The grounds of the temple house hundreds of inscribed stele, recording the names of successful candidates for the examinations for the imperial bureaucracy.Candidates for the exam had to undergo the rigorous procedure of being locked up in a small cubicle for 3 days while taking the examination, many of whom reportedly went mad or committed suicide during the experience.

  This temple consists of four courtyards. The main structures include Xianshi Gate (Gate of the First Teacher), Dacheng Gate (Gate of Great Accomplishment), Dacheng Hall (Hall of Great Accomplishment) and Chongshengci (Worship Hall). Dacheng Hall is the main building in the temple, where the memorial ceremony for the sage was often held. Inside the temple one can see that 198 stone tablets are positioned on either side of the front courtyard, containing 51,624 names of Jinshi (the advanced scholars) of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

  The temple also contains a reproduction of a Western Zhou dynasty stone drum made during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-96), and stone steles containing the Thirteen Confucian Classics, presented by the city of Jintan  in Jiangsu Province.There are various carvings inside the temple ground. One notable example is a famous carving of "two flying dragons playing a pearl among clouds"; this rare image is seldom to be found in other Confucius temples in China.

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