Monday, March 26, 2007

Confucius Temple Beijing

West across the main road and down a hutong from the Lama Temple is Beijing's Confucius Temple.

Confucius Temple, Beijing

The second largest Confucius Temple in China after the temple in Confucius' birthplace in Qufu in Shandong Province, the Guozjian has long been neglected but is being gradually, tastefully renovated for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The temple originally dates from 1302 and was Beijing's main temple honoring the great sage during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The grounds of the temple house hundreds of inscribed stele, recording the names of successful candidates for the examinations for the imperial bureaucracy.

Confucius Temple, Beijing

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.

The temple grounds include a statue of Confucius and many venerable and historic cypress trees.

Names of successful candidates for the imperial examinations inscribed on a stele in the Confucius Temple, Beijing

The Imperial College (Guozijian) is west of the temple and is where the Emperor gave a speech on the Confucian classics in an annual rite.

Confucius Temple
Tel: 8401 1977
Admission 10 yuan


Nearest subway station Yonghegong on the Circle Line

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