Wenchang Confucius Temple
News source:hihainan.info / By Li Xiang / 10 03,2020 16:19:00 / Focus on Hainan

Hailed as “Hainan’s Number One Temple,” the Wenchang Confucius Temple is famous for another reason: its main front gate has never been opened.

 

According to a legend, locals vowed to keep the front gate closed until a native of Wenchang scores the highest in an imperial exam, and thereby obtains the honorary title of “zhuangyuan.” Since no one has achieved this feat, access to this temple remains only possible through its two side gates.

Lingxing Gate --Hinews

Initially built during the 11th century, the Wenchang Confucius Temple is compact with an area of 3,300 square meters. Its symmetrical layout reflects the ancient Chinese architectural style.

 

The main Lingxing Gate opens to the front courtyard.

Wenchang Confucius Temple --Liu Yang

Wenchang Confucius Temple --Liu Yang
Wenchang Confucius Temple --Liu Yang

In the courtyard is a highlight of the complex: a life-sized statue of Confucius—China’s most revered scholar and philosopher.

A Statue of Confucius --Hainan Daily

A Statue of Confucius --Hinews

Behind the statue is the Dacheng Gate. In a sign of respect, the middle door is kept closed, except during major ceremonies. Only its two side doors are opened all year round.

 

The Dacheng Gate leads to the inner courtyard and the main Dacheng Hall or “Hall of Great Achievement.” The spirit tablets of Confucius are on display in the wooden building, alongside other priceless paintings, statues and relics. Intricate carvings of flowers, birds, animals, and historical figures cover the walls of the hall.

Dacheng Hall --Hinews

Near the back of the complex is the Shrine of Adoring the Sage. Here, the ancestors of Confucius and the fathers of the Four Correlates and Twelve Philosophers are worshipped.

Wenchang Confucius Temple Hinews

Founded to honor the great sage, Confucius temples (or “Kong Miao” in Chinese) once served as local schools. Nowadays, students and test-takers visit to pray for good grades, as well as tourists from around the world in search of good luck.

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