Confucius Temple: Qianlong Stone Tablets

Posted by Willettsworld on August 9, 2009

These stone tablets were engraved with thirteen Confucian classics during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. The classics have more than 626,000 Chinese characters, all written in regular script by Jiang Hang, a Gong Sheng (scholar recommended by local government for further studies at the Imperial College, from Jintan, Jiangsu Province during the reign of Yongzheng. It took him 12 years to complete. In 1791, people started to engrave characters on the tablets and the work continued for three years before all the classics were engraved on 189 stone tablets.

Open: 8.30am-5pm. Admission: RMB20.

Confucius Temple: Confucian Temple

Posted by Willettsworld on August 9, 2009

The Beijing Confucian Temple is the second largest Confucian Temple in China after the one in Confucius' hometown of Qufu (see more on my Qufu page). It was built in 1302, and imperial officials used it to pay their respects to Confucius until 1911. The compound was enlarged twice, during the Ming and Qing dynasties and now occupies some 20,000 square meters.

The complex includes four courtyards aligned along a central axis. From south to north, noteworthy structures includes the Xianshi Gate, Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Hall and Chongshengci. Inside the temple there are 198 stone tablets positioned on either side of the front courtyard, and they contain more than 51,624 names of Jinshi (the advanced scholars) of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, and 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing dynasties that hold the precious historical information of ancient China. Next door to the temple is the Imperial College which is also included in the entry price and well worth a look.