Shanghai Confucius Temple

Located at No. 215, Wenmiao Road, Confucius Temple is the only ancient architectural complex dedicated to Confucius in central Shanghai. It was originally built between 1368 and 1398 to worship Confucius (BC551-479) who was a great thinker, educator, and founder of the Confucianism in China. Thereafter, it had been the top learning institution of Shanghai over a long time.
Shanghai Confucius Temple is one of the four ancient stone carving groups in China, famed as the 'Treasure House of Stone Carving Art'. It consists of over 28 ancient buildings built with a large number of stone carvings, including Zunjing Pagoda, Dacheng Hall and Minlun Hall. Except seven buildings which were destroyed or pulled down, the rest are mostly well preserved. 

The temple has three courtyards. The first courtyard is mainly made up of Jiexiao Hall, Minglun Hall and Panchi Pond, all of which are well-preserved. Over Panchi, there is a bridge, whose archways were built with stone dragon and lion heads. Walking though the carved stone arch - Lingxing Gate, you will come to the second courtyard, where are Kuiwen Tower for storing books bestowed by emperors, and Zunjing Tower for storing scriptures. Both of the two buildings were built with multiple-eave roofs. The third courtyard, the central of the Confucius temple, consists of the Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Hall, and bell and drum towers. 

As the main building of the temple, Dacheng Hall is the main hall to worship Confucius, presenting a look of great solemnity and serenity. There is a huge bell weighing 1.5 tons in the southeast of the hall, named Dacheng Bell and made with exquisite techniques. The shoulders of the bell are carved with dragon patterns of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), and there are four couples of dragons encircling shining pearls towards each other on the lower rim of the bell. There are also carved a painting depiction of Confucius' journey made up of 24 orderly lined carriages. It's said that the sound of Dacheng Bell is loud and mellow, and can last as long as 3 minutes. In front of the main door of Dacheng Hall in the open-air, there is a bronze statue of Confucius, holding a sword. Entering the hall, a golden sitting statue of Confucius is situated in the very middle, aside whom are his two outstanding students Yan Hui and Zeng Shen. On the beam are hung three tablets inscribed by the emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). On the eastern and western walls were inserted 16,400-character stone carvings of Confucian Analects carved on 52 bluestones, which is unique among all of the Confucius temples in China. 

Old Book Market in Shanghai Confucius Temple

Based on its profound cultural foundation, a book and periodical market has been built in the northeast corner of the temple, imitating the book houses of the Ming and Qing (1368 – 1644) Dynasties. A great variety of books and periodicals are sold there, including cartoons, swordsman novels, and magazines ranging from the ancient times till present day. From about 20:00 every Sunday, many intellectuals in Shanghai will gather at the book market. Besides, a three-storey building styled with the architectures of the Confucius temple has also been built based oupon the broken walls of the Laodaoqian Street, Menghua Street, and Xuegong Street, which are full of stores selling antiques, paintings, ancient coins, and stamps. 

Shanghai Confucius Temple Fair

At the end of a year, a traditional cultural item – a temple fair is held in the temple. Then, a bell tolling ceremony is held in front of the statue of Confucius in the temple, in the hope of encourage the students' resolution to study hard. In the Sky and Cloud Reflection Pond, there are activities like making wishes by holding candles and setting free turtles and fishes. In Dacheng Gate Square and in the Minglun Hall, there are performances by folk artists; in the Confucius Study Hall, there is tea way performance; on the square in front of the Zunjing Tower, there is riddles guessing...

How to get to Confucius Temple Shanghai

1. Take metro line 8 or line 10 and get off at Laoximen Station. Get out from Exit 7 and walk forward along Zhonghua Road. Turn east at the cross to Wenmiao Road, and then you will find the temple very soon.
2. Take bus 24, 451, 715, 775, 789 or 969 and get off at Laoximen (East Fuxing Road) Station, or take bus 64, 66, or 324 to Henan Nanlu Wenmiaolu Station, and then walk a few minutes to the temple.
 Shanghai Bus / Metro Search

Entrance Fee CNY 10
Opening Hours 9:00 - 17:00

 Further Reading:
     Qufu Confucius Temple
     Nanjing Confucius Temple
     Temple of Confucius in Beijing
     Pingyao Confucius Temple
- Last updated on Apr. 24, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Shanghai Confucius Temple
Asked by Raykar from BRUNIE | Jul. 09, 2014 09:10Reply
How to reach Shanghai Confucius Temple from new harbour serviced apartment
Please give details
Answers (2)
Answered by Daisy from NETHERLANDS | Jul. 09, 2014 22:09

By subway: walk to Dashijie station to take line 8 to get off at Laoximen. Get out from exit 3 to walk to the temple easily!

By bus: walk from the apartment to South Xizang Road, East Ninghai Road stop to take bus no. 451 to get off at Laoximen and walk to ur destination.
Answered by raykar from INDIA | Jul. 10, 2014 06:17

Asked by PV from SRILANKA | Feb. 28, 2013 23:11Reply
how to reach the Confucius Temple in Shanghai
I will be staying at the Courtyard Shanghai Puxi 338 Heng Feng Road, Shanghai, 200070. (this is next to the BM Intercontinental Business Center , in Zhabei district)
How do I reach the Confucius Temple ??
Can i take a taxi ?
Is it too far away from my hotel ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Edson from BANGLADESH | Mar. 02, 2013 19:58

It is about 8km from your hotel to the temple. A taxi can take you there in about 15min. By bus, you can walk about 100m from your hotel to Hengfeng Road, Hanzhong Road and take bus no. 64 and get off at South Henan Road, Penglai Road. Then walk to Confucius Temple within about 310m.
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