Introduction to Wen Miao (Confucius Temple)
Confucius Temple at Wenmiao Road is the only ancient architecture complex in Shanghai with a history over 700. The temple served as the institution of higher learning in the city. They say that In its long history. Almost 300 students from the temple did the highest imperial exams and later served as higher officials in the court during Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, the temple offers a quiet refuge from the crowded streets of the old Shanghai city with rigorous, grand and featured architectures. The temple is a popular Confucianist place of interest. It is now under city protection and attracts retired persons, teachers and students, as well as a great number of tourists from China and abroad.
A brief history of Wen Miao (Confucius Temple)
The first Confucius Temple of Shanghai was built as early as 1267 in Yuan Dynasty (1206-1638). It which as a school to cultivate Confucian scholars, but unfortunately it was destroyed in 1855 by the artillery fire of the Qing army. In the same year, famed scholars and officials in Shanghai start to rebuild the Confucius Temple at the present site. This was the former site of Sea Defense offices of Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644). After the start of People's Republic of China, the temple was restored in 1959 and 1978. For the celebration of the 2550th birthday of the great sage- Confucius in 1999, it was carefully repaired for three years before it was reopened again to the public.
What to see in Wen Miao (Confucius temple)?
As in all Chinese Confucian temples, the Wen Miao of Shanghai features a Lingxing Gate leading to the main hall of the temple, which is called Dacheng Hall. In the hall you can see a copper statue of Confucius. This statue was donated by Mr. Chen Chun from Hong Kong in 1987, to celebrate the 2540th birthday of Confucius. In the center of the hall is a seating Confucius carved from camphor wood. It is laced with gold, and the figures standing by are his disciples, Yan Hui (颜回) and Zeng Shen (曾参). On the inner walls of the hall, there are full texts of the Analects of Confucius (论语, a collection of Confucius’ words by his disciples). This is quite unique in all Confucius temples in the country.
Other buildings in the temple are Chongsheng Hall, Minglun Hall, Kuixing Garret and Zunjing Garret. On the verandas between Minglun Hall and Zunjing Garret there is a list of 279 famed scholars that passed the highest imperial exams, including 3 No.1 Scholars of the exams. Inside the verandas near the Kuixing Garret are several inscriptions composed by renowned scholars of Ming and Qing dynasties. Outside are cultural Ming and Qing dynasty souvenir shops. In other halls, there are also exhibits for bizarre stones, root carvings, teapots, ceramics and the like. During the celebrations at the end of a year, the Wen Miao is rather busy with all kinds of activities, such as the blessing with the bell-striking, folk performances by folk artisans in the square, tea ceremonies, riddle parties and so on.
Book Market in Wen Miao
In the northeast part of Wen Miao you find the renowned book paradise of Shanghai. Here you can find copies of all de original Ming and Qing dynasty books, antique books and also other books, magazines, newspapers, comic strips and secondary books can be found in this market. Here you need to bargain for a good price. Also, a lot of Shanghainese people like to go to this market on a Sunday morning to watch Confucius Temple, hunt for books, taste various delicacies, and shop around.
Location: No.215 Wenmiao Road, Shanghai Old City Area, Huangpu District, Shanghai.
Ticket prices: CNY10 for the temple and CNY1 for the book market
Opening time of Wen Miao: 08:30- 16:30
Opening time of the book market: every Sunday from 08:30 to 16:00