Taiwan Confucian Temple

The Taiwan Confucian Temple, also called Tainan Confucian Temple or Quan Tai Shou Xue is a Confucian temple on Nanmen Road in Tainan, Taiwan.

taiwan-confucian-temple

The Taiwan Confucius Temple, also called the Scholarly Temple, was built in 1665 during the Koxinga dynasty, when Zheng Jing (Koxinga’s son) approved of the proposal by Chief of General Staff Chen Yonghua to construct the Temple on the right side and the National Academy (to be called “Guo Xue” hereafter) on the left side of a hill, with both facing the south. On the east (left) side stood Ming-Lun Hall (Hall of Ethics), built as a place for instructors to offer lectures and cultivate intellectuals. On the west(right) side was the sanctuary called Ta-Cheng Hall (Hall of Great Achievement), housing the mortuary tablet of Confucius, as well as those of his distinguished disciples. The Wen Miao and Guo Xue compound, the first of its kind in the history of Taiwan, was thus called the First Academy of Taiwan.

In 1685, soon after the island of Formosa was annexed by the Qing Dynasty, the first Taiwan Regional Chief Administrator Chou Chang and Taiwan Prefecture Magistrate Chiang Yu-ying began their efforts to have the Wen Miao renovated and the Ta-Cheng Hall reconstructed into Taiwan Prefecture Academy. Since then, the compound has been renovated and expanded several times. In 1712, following a major renovation by Taiwan Chief Administrator Chen Ping, the compound retained its original layout of Wen Miao to the right and Guo Xue to the left. In the Wen Miao, in addition to its Ta-Cheng Hall, a gate named Ta-Cheng Gate (Gate of Great Achievement) was erected at its front yard and a shrine named Chung-Sheng Shrine (Shrine of Confucius’ Ancestors) was built in its backyard. The Ta-Cheng Hall was flanked by East-Wu and West-Wu, two chambers in the worship of ancient scholars, while the Ta-Chen Gate stood between Wen-Chang Shrine (Shrine of Scholars) to the left and Tu-Di Shrine (Shrine of the Land) to the right. Also built on both sides of the yard of the Ta-Cheng gate were two walls with the addition of Li Gate (Gate of Rites) and Yi Road (Path of Righteousness). In the academy, a gate named Ju-Te-Chih-Men (Gate of Involving in Virtue) was erected as a main entrance to the Ming-Lun Hall, the main hall of Taiwan Prefecture Academy. Situated between the gate and the hall was a courtyard flanked by Chambers of the Six Arts, while seated behind the hall were residential chambers for faculty. To the east of the Ming-Lun Hall was the Chu Tzu Altar in worship of the scholar Chu Hsi. At this point, the construction of the Wen Miao had developed approximately into its current shape and scale.

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