Datong Confucian Temple or Confucius Temple locates in the southeast of Datong Old City. It was firstly rebuilt in 489, during the North Wei Dynasty, by Emperor Xiaowen in the capital. It was proved to be the first Confucian Temple in China. After many times of the repairing work, it is now a majestic and brilliant building complex in Datong, reflecting the city’s history and cultures.
Construction of Confucian Temple in History
Datong Confucian Temple was built firstly built in 489 in Pingcheng, which is the ancient capital of North Wei Dynasty. In 1375 during the Ming Dynasty, at that time, it was a prefectural school. In 1427, the Sujing Hall was added; then in 1444, the Chongwen Pavilion was built. In 1533, Kaiyun Road, Jianyun Table, pavilion and ancestral hall were added. In 1624, the Wild Goose Pagoda was built, forming a large-scale building complex.
In the 1990s, only the Dacheng Hall, Xiangxian Temple, Shenchu, Shenku,the Minghuan Temple and the Xianmen Temple were left in the temple. In 2005, the government had the repair project to the Shenchu and Shenku areas.
In 2008, the government restarted the protection and restoration project of Confucian Temple. With an investment of 30 million RMB, after nearly two years of the construction, the Zunjing Pavilion, East and West Pavilion, East and West Corridor, Gallery, Pond, Panxing Gate and Yi Gate were reconstructed according to historical sites. The entire Confucian Temple reached an area of 40,000 square meters.
At the same time, the surrounding environment of Confucian Temple was also renovated, and Yunlufang, Dachengfang, Yilufang, and Limenfang were rebuilt around the central axis of Confucian Temple. In November 2010, all the restoration of Confucian Temple was officially completed. Today, the Confucian Temple is even more magnificent and dazzling for people to visit.
Features of Confucian Temple
The original layout of Confucian Temple is divided into three groups: one is the Hall of worship, one is the lecture room, and the last one is the official educational institutions.
Built in Ming Dynasty, Dacheng Hall is the main building of Confucian Temple. It was been renovated for many times during the Emperor Shunzhi and Qianlong periods of Qing Dynasties. The whole building is placed on the platform, facing to the south, in a "convex" shape. The hall has five rooms, with a length of 30.5 meters and a width of 18.5 meters.
The platform of the Dacheng Hall is surrounded by stone railings, with different rock carvings on them. The whole complex is even more majestic and solemn against the platform. The stone carvings engrave the ancient myths and historical legends of the ancient China, in bright lines and concise layout.
Among them, there are different contents, including the portraits reflecting ideology, scenes of social labor production, music and dances, plants and beasts, which formed a masterpiece of the stone carving art.