Hours: All Day, especially at night
Phone number: +86 (0)25 8662 8639
Price: Entrance to the actual temple is 35 yuan.
Situated in the south part of Nanjing and surrounded by the Qinhuai River, the Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Confucius Temple consists of a cluster of symetrically arranged buildings and covers an area of over 26,000 square meters. The temple is home to excellent examples of both Ming and Qing dynasty architecture. However, the biggest draw for most Nanjing locals is the great food and shopping.
Confucius Temple was founded in 1034. In antiquity, the temple was a site where people could make sacrifices to Confucius (孔子, Kong Zi), arguably China’s most celebrated ideologist and educator. The temple also served as a marketplace for merchants as well as a center where culture and arts thrived.
In 1985, the municipal authorities decided to "renovate" Confucius Temple in order to keep up with the times. A series of tourist shops, snack bars, restaurants and hotels set up shop here with the goal of enabling Confucius Temple to better express a combination of traditional and modern beauty.
There are many places of historical interest within Confucius Temple, such as Jiangnan Gongyuan (江南贡院) and Wuyi Xiang (乌衣巷). Jiangnan Gongyuan was the largest imperial examination place in ancient China. Constructed during the Song dynasty, potential government officials were examined and selected here. Wuyi Xiang, or “Black Clothes Lane”, was named after the Wu soldiers, who wore black uniforms. During the Jin dynasty, Wuyi Xiang became the residence of Minister Wang Dao, followed by Minister Xie An, and finally a few of Nanjing’s noble families. During the Tang dynasty, a famous Chinese poet named Liu Yu Xi wrote a poem here: Gone are the swallows at Wang-Xie’s Mansion into the houses of the common.
In addition to common boutiques, there are many shops in Confucius Temple that feature local folk crafts and commodities, unavailable in other parts of the country. Tourists can buy various Nanjing specialties including Nanjing brocade, Jinling gold foil, Jinling folding fans, wood carvings, Rain flower pebbles, Nanjing dried salted duck, Yuhua tea and much more. Generally speaking, the initial price quoted by the peddlers will be much higher than the price you can bargain down to, so it’s advised to learn how to bargain Chinese style before making purchases.
It is worth the trip here just for the food, because Confucius Temple boasts a variety of delicious snacks. Duck blood and bean-starchy vermicelli, Jellied bean curd, fried scallion pancakes, beef soup, beef-stuffed Guo Tie (lightly fried dumplings), spiced broad beans, Huangqiao Sesame Seed Cake are just a few of the delicacies on hand. All of these treats are mouth watering, yet not too expensive.
An evening cruise on the Qinhuai River is a wonderful experience. Nanjing skyscraper’s neon city lights light up the river at night. Many kinds of boats are available for rent. Paddle boats are a cheaper option. However, "Qibanzi", a type of boat with a roomy cabin and cane chairs on the deck, is a little bit expensive, but less tiring and more comfortable.
Take the No. 1 bus. The No. 1 bus stops at every Subway station from Nanjing Railway Station Station to Xinjiekou. If you are far away first take the Subway to Xinjiekou and then take the No.1 from there.
Any cab driver in the city will know how to get to "Fuzi Miao".
Confucius Temple during Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. From the first week of the Chinese New Year, Confucius Temple begins to get busier and busier until the climax of the Lantern Festival. The crowds become so large and busy during the Lantern Festival that hundreds (if not thousands) of police officers are required to control the throngs of people.