you have gone to the Lama Temple, you should walk across the street
where the Temple of Confucius is located: on Guozijian Street inside
Anding Gate. The Temple of Confucius in Beijing is the place where
people paid homage to Confucius during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368),
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Temple of Confucius was initially built in 1302 and additions were
made during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has a total area of
22,000 square meters (5.4 acres). It is the second largest temple
constructed for Confucius, the greatest thinker and educationalist
in ancient China.
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 Confucius 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. Also 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing
dynasties hold the precious historical information of ancient China.
There is another 189 stone tables in the northwest of the courtyard
where they have all 13 Confucian classics carved into them. The main
hall has stimulating exhibits of musical and ritual instruments. In
warmer months, art students sketch buildings, trees and scenes in
the main court. Since it receives relatively few visitors, the
Confucius Temple is one of the rare tourist spots in Beijing where
one can spend the day reading in peace, and it’s not uncommon to see
locals sitting on the courtyard benches, shooting the breeze.
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