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Confucius Temple and Imperial College in Beijing!!

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A five minute walk away from Beijing’s Lama Temple is China’s second-largest Confucian temple.  It’s located on a very quiet street which has the usual lovely Chinese entrance doors along the way.  The temple really is a haven of peace and quiet and I was very fortunate that there were not many visitors so I was able to take the majority of my photographs without people in them (something unusual for Beijing).

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This temple consists of four courtyards and inside the temple you can see 198 stone tablets positioned on either side of the front courtyard.  These stone tablets contain 51,624 names of advanced scholars of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

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There is also a 700-year-old Chujian Bai (Touch Evil Cypress). There is a legend associated with the tree; during the Ming Dynasty, a superior official came to worship on behalf of the emperor. When he was passing by the cypress, one of the branches of the tree took his hat off. Since this official was treacherous, people have thought the old tree could distinguish between good and evil. Hence its name.

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Next to the Confucius Temple, but within the same grounds, is the Imperial College, which was the institute of the highest education where the emperor, annually, espoused the Confucian classics to an audience of thousands of kneeling students, professors and court officials.

On the site there is also a beautiful glazed, three-gate decorative archway.  This archway is said to be the only memorial archway built for education in China.

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It didn’t take long to walk through the grounds, but inside the temple and institute there was plenty to see including a room for Chinese musical instruments.

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