Confucius TempleA ~ Z

Introducing the Confucius Temple (Kong Miao)

The Temple of Confucius at Beijing is the second largest Confucian Temple in China after the one in Confucius' hometown of Qufu, Shandong Province. It was built in 1302, and imperial officials used it to pay their respects to Confucius (551 - 479BC), the greatest thinker, educationist and founder of Confucianism. The compound was enlarged twice, during the Ming and Qing dynasties and now occupies some 22,000 square meters. From 1981 until 2005, the Temple of Confucius also housed part of the art collection of the Capital Museum. It stands on Guozijian Street connects to the Imperial Academy. The complex includes four courtyards aligned along a central axis. From south to north, noteworthy structures includes: the Xianshi Gate (Gate of the Sage Master), Dacheng Gate (Gate of Great Accomplishment), Dacheng Hall (Hall of Great Accomplishment) and Chongshengci (Shrine of the Great Sage). Dacheng Hall is the main building in the temple, where the memorial ceremony for Confucius was held. There is a broad yard in front of the Dacheng Hall, with straight paved path and 11 merits recording pavilions on both sides. Dacheng Hall has a double-eave roof covered with yellow glazed tiles. Inside the hall, the tablet of Confucius is put in the middle flanked by tablets of his four main disciples and 12 renowned Confucian scholars of successive dynasties. Inside the temple there are 198 stone tablets positioned on either side of the front courtyard, and they contains more than 51,624 names of Jinshi (the advanced scholars) of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, and 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing dynasties that hold the precious historical information of ancient China. The temple also contains stone tablets recording the names of many generations of scholars who passed the Imperial Examination, a reproduction of a Western Zhou period stone drum made during the reign of Qianlong (1735-96), and 189 stone steles containing the Thirteen Confucian Classics, presented by the city of Jintan in Jiangsu Province.

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Dacheng Hall

Dacheng Hall, Hall of Great Accomplishment, is the main building in the Confucius Temple where the memorial ceremony for the sage was often held. The same as the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City and Gate of Heavenly Peace in Tiananmen Square, it was built with a double-eave roof which was the highest standard of building in China. In the center of Hall, the photograph and tablet of Confucius are housed. The tablets of his four great disciples and other important sages and worthies are also housed on either sides of the building. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the ceremony to pay homage to Confucius was held here twice a year in the middle of Spring and Autumn respectively. In order to promote traditional Chinese Culture, the imitation of memorial ceremony is also held for visitors now.

Additional Information


Confucius lived between 551 and 479 BC during the late years of the Spring and Autumn Period of China. He was a great thinker, educator and statesman as well as one of the most learnt people at that time. Later generations honored him as “the sage of sages” and “the teacher of all ages”. Confucius was the founder of Confucianism, a school of moral doctrine that encourages “justice” and “peace”. Confucianism had a key influence on later generations and became the core of Chinese feudal culture, representing the Chinese cultural spirit. Confucius was the first person in Chinese history to begin private education, bringing the access to knowledge learning, a privilege previously enjoyed by aristocrats, to the general public. The principle of “providing education for all people without discrimination” first proposed by him advocated that anyone, rich or poor, was entitled to education from him. Confucius adopted the teaching method of “educating someone according to his natural ability” and “heuristic education”. Meanwhile, he was tireless in teaching others and fostered good learning habits in his students. It is said that Confucius educated a total of 3,000 disciples, 72 of whom were outstanding ones. Therefore, the rich traditional Chinese culture have been promoted and inherited. Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself". In order to realize his political propositions, Confucius kept on fighting for the restoring of the ideal social order in spite of all setbacks. At the age of 55, leading his disciples, he went on a lobbying tour in various states to promote his political beliefs. Although his thoughts were not accepted, he did not give up. For over thousands of years, his qualities of integrity, optimism and persistence have been causing a far-reaching impact on the Chinese people, especially the intellectuals. The World Heritage Committee hailed Confucius as “a great philosopher, statesman and educator of the Spring and Autumn Period of China during the 6th and 5th century BC”. Nowadays, more and more people around the world are beginning to understand Confucius and the culture of Confucianism, with the establishment of one Confucius institute after another. Confucius is ranked the 5th of “the 100 most influential people in history”, indicating the great influence he had on China and the world as a whole. Confucius was buried by the Sishui River in the north of Qufu City of Shandong, where the Cemetery of Confucius is today.

Imperial Examination

There were four levels of exams in China: the Prefectural Examination; the Provincial Examination; Metropolitan Examination and the highest level - Imperial Examination which was presided over by the emperor. For every three years, 300 scholars from all parts of China came to Beijing and took part in the Imperial Examination for 3 days. The Imperial Examination was under the supervision of the emperor himself. Those who passed the exam would get honorable tiles and become high-ranking officials. The top three scholars who passed the exam would not only get the honorable title, but also were allowed to go through the Forbidden City from the central gate and would also have the honor to be received in audience by the emperor. After that, in order to be known to the public, the scholars would ride down the street on a walking horse which was considered be the greatest honor for the scholars in the past. The Imperial Examination system in China started from 587, during the Sui Dynasty (581- 618). The purpose of the exam was to select the ministers and high-ranking officials from those Confucian scholars. The Imperial Examination system was further improved in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and continued until 1905 in the Qing Dynasty.

Opening Hours

Closed on Mondays

08:30 –17:00


Entrance Fee: ¥ 30


No.13 Guozijian, Andingmennei, Dongcheng District, Beijing




Getting There


Line 2 Yonghegong Station Exit C

Line 5 Yonghegong Station Exit D



(Please take me to the Confucius Temple Guozijian)

Travel Tips

Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy are connected inside

Last Updated

2018-05-04 13:55:30

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