Most Important Temples to Visit in China (I)- Confucius Temple

Most Important Temples to Visit in China (I)- Confucius Temple

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Most-Important-Temples-to-Visit-in-China-I-Confucius-Temple-300x180 Most Important Temples to Visit in China (I)- Confucius Temple

Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Confucius Temple

 

Although Confucianism served as the intellectual and moral backbone of China – indeed, much of East Asia – for over two millennia, you can't really call it a religion. Yet, despite its marked absence of otherworldly speculation, Confucian temples have always existed. 

 

The primary function of these temples was to pay homage to the spirit of Confucius and other great teachers in the tradition, a practice closely related to everyday ancestor worship. Although you'll sometimes come across statues of Confucius such as in Beijing, most places simply used plain spirit tablets (an upright wooden board with a name written on it) to represent those worshiped.

 

Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Confucius Temple

 

Fittingly, Confucian temples were almost always built within or next to a school; in some cases they even served as the school itself. Official rituals and sacrifices – usually conducted by the state (which was run by Confucian bureaucrats) – were also held at Confucian temples.

 

Beijing's Confucian Temple is the second largest in China and dates back to 1306. Like other Confucian temples, it's a pretty subdued place, with the swaying of old cypress trees in the breeze providing the most action. To the rear of the temple are stelae (stone tablets) upon which are engraved the 13 Confucian classics and the names of successful imperial examination candidates.

 

West of the temple is the Imperial Academy (Guozijian), which was the top school in imperial China. 

 

Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Confucius Temple – How do I get there?

 

Address: 13 Guozijian Jie (国子监街13号)

 

Metro: Lama Temple