Confucius Temple

Qinhuai River, Nanjing
Nanjing Confucius Temple, Fuzimiao in Chinese is situated on the north bank of the Qinhuai River. It is the holy shrine of Confucius, the outstanding ancient Chinese philosopher and thinker. The temple was first built in 1034 in the Song dynasty(960-1729), expanded on the basis of the Imperial Academy of the East Jin dynasty (317 - 420). The complex consists of Confucius Temple, the Imperial Academy and Gongyuan where provincial and national examinations were held. However, people called the complex and surrounding streets Confucius Temple due to custom. The grand complex structure experienced vicissitudes of history. It was burnt and restored for many times. In 1937, brutal Japanese invaders burnt it into ashes. However, it was rebuilt by the local government in accordance with Ming and Qing style in 1984, and rated as one of the top 40 tourist attractions in 1991.

Inside an expansive hall is a vast portrait of Confucius overseeing a set of bells, chimes, and musical instruments, and along the wall are some rather gaudy bas-reliefs in colored glass. These relate stories from Confucius's life. One parable tells a Qilin (mythical chimera) slaughtered in a world without ethics. The Qinlin only appeared during times of morality; in such an immoral world, the animal was doomed. The hall at the very rear offers classical Chinese music and performances by singers and dancers in period costumes. The area around the temple is a lively shopping and restaurant district. 

When you stand in front of the temple, you can see a Lune pond in front of the gate. On the south bank of the pond, there is a screen wall piled with bricks, it is one of the three extant screen walls in Nanjing City. On the both sides of the temple are tablets, people used for worshiping Confucius wife and his students respectively. There are many ancient buildings in the temple, such as Great Achievement Hall, Virtue Hall, Blue Cloud Tower, and so on. Although the Confucius Temple is a place for study, still it is a recreation place. With many people comes and goes, it gets rid of the solemn atmosphere of studying. The temple renovated continuously, the Confucius Temple has become a cultural place where different entertainment takes place here. People converted Virtue Hall into a theater that can hold 800 audiences. Peal Fragrance Pavilion has been a place for performing the story—telling. There is a Bird and Flower Market nearby. Either the old or the young are used to frequenting here. Here you can smell the fragrance of flowers and hear the singing of birds. Many local flavors of Qinhuai are available near the temple.