Suzhou Confucian Temple

Suzhou Confucian Temple
Suzhou's Confucian Temple is currently under renovation. The complex consists of two courtyards: one to the east and one to the west. The eastern courtyard is in the process of having the paving stones replaced. This courtyard was used for the worship of Confucius as a Sage and is dominated by the huge; Hall of the Great Saint (Dashengdian) where the spirit tablets of Confucius and other important sages were housed. This hall is now empty. To the west is a second courtyard separated from the first by a wall. This is where the Confucian academy was located. The academy was run by the state and had facilities for students to live and study. The large hall to the north was where the local civil service exams were given. This part of the temple is now used for a flea market and the buildings are storage for old Suzhou beds that are dismantled and sold in pieces for their engraving. There are also a pair of pools here that must have once been quite beautiful, but which are not so now.