Confucius Temples in China

Chinese people built Confucius temples to commemorate Confucius (551BC-479BC), also called Kongzi or Kongfuzi in Chinese, who was a great thinker, educator and the founder of Confucianism in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770BC- 476BC). This school occupies a dominant position in Chinese culture. Kongzi was among the best recognized sages of that period. He devoted his whole life to education. He had some 3,000 disciples and many of them were knowledgeable and highly talented.

Confucius temples are called Kong Miao in Chinese; they are famous for their large scale, rich cultural relic collection and their artistic value. Among these holy temples, the Confucian temple in Qufu in Shandong Province, which consists of Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin), Temple of Confucius (Kong Miao) and the Confucius Family Mansion (Kong Fu) is regarded as one of the holy cities in the world. The Temples of Confucius in Beijing, the Confucian Temple in Nanjing and the Confucius Temple in Shanghai are also well worth visiting.

 
Dacheng Hall, Confucius Temple, Qufu
Dacheng Hall, Confucius Temple, Qufu
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Cemetery of Confucius, Qufu
Cemetery of Confucius, Qufu
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But building Confucius temples has experienced a frustrated way. During a long period after Confucius passed away, Confucian doctrines he created were not accepted by the public. In the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Confucianism was to be destroyed, not to mention building temples to commemorate the Saint Confucius. In the early Han Dynasty (206BC-220), the cultural policy of "To Desert all Theories except Confucianism" was carried out but ended with little success. In the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties when the country unified again, the thoughts explained by Confucian School and the value of Confucian Culture were recognized by the whole society. The Confucian temples mushroomed in the country. In the following dynasties, the specifications of Confucian temples were increased continually.
 
Kong Family Mansion, Qufu
Kong Family Mansion, Qufu
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Confucius Temple, Beijing
Confucius Temple, Beijing
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What's more, the Confucian temples have different styles in different places. For example, the Confucian temple in Hancheng in Shaanxi Province has a glazed-tile five dragons screen wall which add much color to the temple and also declare the high statue of Confucius. The Confucian Temple in Nanjing has a section of Qinhuai River as its pool, which is unique in design. In Wenchang City in Hainan Province, the Confucian temple does not have Lingxing Gate. People should enter from the side entrance to worship Confucius. In Yunnan Province, the pool in the Confucian temple is also called 'the sea of study', where in the middle is a small island, and on the island, there is a wooden structure Pavilion 'Sile Pavilion' (Missing Happiness Pavilion). The whole design reflects a strong local flavor.