Victory is a defeat. The Surviving Artifacts of the Confucian Civilization
Teachings of the great thinker, who lived more than a thousand years ago, don’t cease to amaze with their depth and simplicity of truth. Famous sayings of Confucius are known by heart by thousands of people. Others spend a lifetime to comprehend the depth of the Confucian philosophy. Unique monuments remained in memory of the great thinker. Those are ancient temples, museums with amazing collections of artifacts, and monasteries that do not cease to surprise with their harmonious atmosphere. Today, priceless artifacts of the Confucian civilization attract not only numerous pilgrims, but ordinary tourists too. These sights have been turned into unique cultural centers and attractions of world importance.
Confucius Temple Taichung, China
Unique Confucian attractions have survived on the island of Taiwan. There you can see the majestic Temple of Confucius. This religious monument has an informal name, The School Temple. Its story is very interesting. Since its opening, the temple served as a school for the local children. Amazing lectures and classes for students of different age were held there. It became the first educational institution for the children on the island. The temple was built in 1666. It took one year to construct it.
According to reports, the initiator of the construction of the temple was Cheng Ching, the son of the legendary Chinese pirate Koxinga, who became famous for his brutal conquest. The first large-scale renovation was held under the rule of the Qing dynasty in the early 18th century. Many new buildings were added and the territory was extended substantially. During the reign of the Japanese government, the temple was almost completely destroyed. Its surviving premises continued to be used as a school and, later, as military barracks.
In 1917, the building was completely renovated. Today, travelers can see it the way it was in the 17th century. Surprisingly, after hundreds of years, the ancient temple has not lost its religious significance. It continues to serve as a place for important Confucian ceremonies and rituals. The most magnificent events traditionally take place on the day of memory of Confucius, September, 28th. Many ceremonies are open, which makes them even more attractive to tourists. Next - Shrines in Qufu
Shrines in Qufu, China
The most famous place of pilgrimage in the world is the Chinese city of Qufu. It is the birthplace of the great Chinese thinker. Confucius have spent all his life there. Pilgrims and ordinary tourists can see a number of iconic landmarks, including the ancient temple that was built in the year 478, a year after the death of Confucius. It is obvious that the very first temple has not survived to the present day. During fifteen hundred years, it has being repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Complete article
Confucius Temple in Nanjing, China
In Nanjing, there is the Confucius Temple that is one of the oldest Confucian attractions in the world. The first building in its place was constructed in 1034 and, like many Confucian temples, it served as a school for local children. The wooden temple suffered from fires several times, but through the efforts of local residents each time it was completely rebuilt. Over the years, imperial examinations were held in it. There was a room with more than 20 thousands of individual booths, where examinees were closed for three days. They were visited only to bring a portion of food. Complete article
Temple of Confucius in Beijing, China
In the heart of the Chinese capital, there is a temple dedicated to the great thinker. It was built in 1302. Like many other religious shrines, the temple has being gone through the destruction and reconstruction, but after more than 700 years, it has managed to preserve its original look. The Confucius Temple in Beijing is one of the largest in the world. Its size is second only to the temple located in Qufu. After hundreds of years, some elements of the old buildings, including a wall-screen, have survived. They can be seen at the entrance to the main gate. It’s believed that the screen protects the temple from evil spirits. Complete article
Confucius Shrine, Japan
Several monuments of the Confucian culture have survived in Japan. One of them can be seen in the city of Nagasaki. That's the Confucius Shrine. The building, which visitors can admire today, was built in 1893. The mausoleum is located in the place where the world's only Confucian Temple located beyond the borders of China was built. The ancient temple, as well as other Confucian sites, was founded as a place of worship and conducting training lectures. Complete article
Shanghai Wen Miao, China
The Temple of Confucius, which can be seen in Shanghai, was built in 1294 during the reign of the Yuan Dynasty. That’s a replica of temples in Qufu and Beijing. It is second to them only in scale. The sight is located in the bustling district of Temple of the Huangpu, which is known for its colorful Venmo Sunday Market. The temple has long been a real cultural center. Not only important religious holidays and rituals, but also great exhibitions and book markets are held there. Complete article
Xuankong Si Monastery, China
Fans of the Confucian culture have an amazing opportunity to visit the Hanging Temple. The monastery is located in the province of Shanxi. It was built against a hillside of the sacred mountain Hengshan. The Hanging Temple is a unique temple complex, which combines the Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian shrines. The monastery was built in 491. Its main feature is its location. All 40 halls and pavilions are literally hanging over a precipice that inadvertently gives an impression that they could collapse at any moment. In fact, all the buildings grip on wooden stilts abutting against the rock. Complete article
Xi'an Beilin Museum, China
In Shanxi Province, in addition to ancient temples, travelers can visit the Bei Ling Museum. It is a unique landmark. The museum was founded on the site of the old destroyed Confucian temple in the early 20th century. The basis of its unique exhibition are stone stele with China's history engraved on them. These priceless artifacts has given to the museum its informal name, The Forest of Stone Steles. Complete article