First constructed in the year 1034 AD along the banks of the Qinhuai River in Nanjing, the current area of Fuzimiao (“Temple of Confucius”), built on the site of the original imperial university, actually dates back to the 19th century (during the Qing Dynasty). Unfortunately, in 1911, as a result of the Chinese Revolution, the Temple suddenly lost all financial support by the state. Then, from the late 1920s to 1932, it was used as an army barracks by the Kuomintang (also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party), leaving the complex in a dilapidated state. It wasn’t until 1985 that the Fuzimiao area was finally restored to its current condition.
Within the temple, there is also a small exhibit of folk art, and nearby is the renowned Jiangnan Examination Hall, the largest imperial examination hall which dates back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Throughout its history, the temple complex and surrounding area have been a place to study the thought of Confucius — the great philosopher and educator of ancient China (above).
The world-famous Qinhuai International Lantern Festival, named for the surrounding river, is held during the first month of the Lunar New Year. During the festival, many different types of lantern are on display, some of which resemble flowers and animals, both real and mythical (e.g. dragons). Visitors may also take a cruise here along the Qinhuai River on painted boats (below), in order to visit any of the several dozen original villages found along its banks. While there, they can witness any number of historical sites, gardens, and traditional streets, as well as to enjoy some traditional Chinese music and folk customs.
- Visited: Sep 2015