Confucius Temple (Fuzi Miao)

Confucius Temple (Fuzi Miao), in the south of the Nanjing city old town district, was first built in 1034 in the Song Dynasty (960-1729) to serve as the seat of Confucius study for over 1,500 years. It was then expanded and consists of Confucius Temple, the Imperial Academy and Gongyuan where imperial examinations for scholars were held. The temple complex has undergone continuous damages and reconstructions. The structures standing now were restored or totally rebuilt in Ming and Qing style in 1984 after the Japanese army destruction in 1937 and become one major attraction of Nanjing together with its surroundings.

The main Confucius Temple is located behind the small square with a bronze sculpture of Confucius standing in front of the hall and 12 statues of Confucius's favorite students guarding on the stone stair sides. Inside the temple hall, the Confucius deeds are recorded on the 38 intricately-decorated pictures. The musical instrument replica are also displayed and played regularly in the hall to recur how the Ming dynasty people commemorate the Confucius while the historic relics or artworks exhibitions are often held. The other main structure of the temple complex is the Imperial Examinations History Museum. It is a reconstructed building that was used for the scholars studying Confucian works to prepare for the civil service examinations in the cubicles. Since a large number of the scholars would stay here and study for months or years, all kinds of lust fun and cuisines flocked here and flourished to color their studying life and then this district became a shopping area over hundreds of years.

Nowadays, the pouring-in tourists have faded the area's original cultural color and replaced it with heavy modern commercialism. Evidence abounds in the strutted-in Adidas, Nike, KFC & McDonald's and the struggling authentic Chinese old-brands and plentiful cheap souvenir stores. The whole area at night is illuminated by the color lights and lanterns that give the canal boat tour along the Qinhuai River more romantic luster. Weekends and national holidays is the much busier and crowed time.

Many activities are held at Confucius Temple from April to October every year like night market, lanterns & lights exhibition, singing & dancing performance, handicraft-making & exotic local snacks. From the first day to the fifteenth of the Chinese Lunar New Year, lively Lantern Festival & Mock-up Chinese Examination takes place and this area will be drenched in heavy festival vibe.