A Flank view of the Northern-Most Pavilions of the Lama Temple - YongHeGong on the intersection of YongHegong Dajie' with AndingMen Dajie' which is part of the 2nd ring road of Beijing. The Subway Exit of the Circular Blue lies Left and Oustide of this Image across the Road and past a water canal.
(1) Short Introduction & Directions to The Confucius Temple
Map of DongCheng District with Location of Confucius Temple. Click Map to go to Full Version.
DongCheng District Map
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Confucius Temple - Directions / How to Get There
Short Introduction to the Confucius Temple in Beijing
History and Significance of the Confucius Temple in Beijing
The Confucius Temple of Beijing is the largest Confucianist Temple in the City of Beijing and the second largest in the Nation. Today not active as a Temple, the entire complex has been turned into a Museum of Confucianism and Imperial History and Architecture. The Main treasure of the Confucius Temple is its collection of Stone Steles recording the names of those Successful in the Imperial Exams of the Ming Dynasty and succeeding Qing Dynasty.
This Photo Tour and Walk-Through of the Confucius Temple starts at the Second Ring Road in The North-East of Central Beijing's DongCheng District, where the Lama
A View of the inconspicuous but important Entrance to the new YongHeGong - Lama Temple Subway Station, about halfway the Lama Temple Complex on YongHeGong Dajie' (Avenue).
Empty Lot on the intersection from which Confucius Temple can already be seen (Photo November 2007 AD).
Temple - YongHeGong stands at the intersection of YongHegong Dajie' and AndingMen Dong Dajie'(=East Avenue). Starting out here one is located roughly between a three important sites, first of these is the Ditan Park -which is situated due North of this spot and across the second ring road-, second of these is the Lama Temple -inview to the East and third, of course, the Confucius Temple itself. Start out from here to walk through some narrow Hutong Alleys and along the Outer Wall surrounding the Confucius Temple Complex to have the most complete walk of the Site. Another idea is to first visit Ditan Park before heading to this spot and on to Confucius Temple & Museum.
The intersection of YongHeGong
Full Map of the Beijing Subway System of 2008 AD
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Make your way through the Hutong to the Temple Complex Wall, left and south to GuoziJian Road.
Dajie' and Second Ring Road can be reached through the Subway's Blue Line. People in need of the shortest route and directions to Confucius Temple can head to the Subway from any Station and use the Green Line to
Exit the Hutong heading south and turn right (West) into GuoziJian Road and the Gates of Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy (Photos November 2007).
The View upon turning Left (East), with view of the Ceremonial Pailou Wooden Gate with beyond YongHeGong (Lama Temple) Dajie'.
YongHeGong (Lama Temple) Station. From this station it is only a short walk southward along YongHeGong Dajie' after one can turn into the first side Road to the Right and East
The Confucius Temple Museum is joined via Gates to the South and Front Court of the adjacent Imperial College, another interesting and noteworthy historic site which is part of the Confucian Museum. The adjacent site was not only home to the Pavilion where the Emperor
, mainly during the Ming Dynasty, on occasion would confer with high scholars of the Academy. It was also the place where the Emperor himself would annually hold a speech and teach his views of Confucian Classics to the Entire Academy, all students, teachers and professors. This Ritual Meeting was of great significance for the stability of the Imperial Administrations during both Ming and Qing Dynasties.
through which the Main Gate of Confucius Temple can be reached directly. This Road, GuoZiJian Jie(=Road) is easily recognized by it's Impressive and Colorful Pailou - Wooden Ceremonial Gate, which can't be missed. Once past the PaiLou Gate there is a further multitude of small shops offering buddhist statues, incense and the like, making it fun to walk the remaining 150 metres.
The View of the Confucius Temple's South and Main Gate of The First Teacher (Xian Shi) from across GuoZiJian Road.
In History the Confucius Temple of Beijing was the most important and largest Confucian Temple in the Empire. After its founding in 1306 AD during the Reign of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271 AD - 1368 AD) it was in use as the main place to commemorate and honor Confucius, Kung Fu-Tzi, the founding Philosopher of the State Doctrine invented during the Spring and Autumn Period of the Zhou Dynasty and in sway as the official State Philosophy since the founding years of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD).
It was mainly used for confucian service and ritual, and served as a the National Confucian College as well. Since the Confucian philosophy was fundamental to the Ruling and Administration of the Chinese Empire, the Temple served further to house and impressive collection of stone steles, marking the names and honoring those who had passed the Highest Level Exams of the Confucian State Examination System.
To Pass the Exams was equal to achieving the Highest Honor and Goal
to achieve in the State and the passing of the Exams gave direct access to the Highest Levels of Decision making at the Imperial Court. One would generally serve right underneath the powers of the Throne and The Emperor himself. Who would be engraved would no doubt amount to Great Things. There was the gain of Fortune as well as Powers unequalled anywhere in the Realm. Furthermore, beyond influence for onself there was also the debt to and gratitude to ones family, who would be enthralled to by known to have a Son in the highest circles of Government. The Family would share some of the Fortune, Fame and Wealth during the career of these Examinees who were now "Made Men" known as Jin Shi.
Inscribed white marble plaquette declaring the High Protection Status of the National Monument that Confucius Temple in Beijing is.
The Side View of the Gate into Confucius Temple on GuoZiJian Road (Photo November 2007).
For an unknown period after 1949 AD, the Temple of Confucius was in use as
a Private Residence. The identity of the user in that period is shrouded in Mystery and so far known by few.
The Confucius Temple was reopened in 1981 AD as a Museum named the Beijing Capital Museum. The Beijing Capital Museum deals with the History of Chinese Civilization and the founding of Beijing and its development as an important City in North-East China.