Fengqing Confucian Temple is one of the key provincial reserved culture relics proclaimed by Yunnan provincial government on November 16th,1993 , which is just second to the Confucian Temple in Jian Shui. It is regarded as the first Confucian Temple in Western Yunnan.
Feng Qing Confucian Temple, built in 1606 (the 34th year of Wang Li period in Ming Dynasty), was originally situated at the east foot of the Tiger Mountain, south of the old County Seat, where No. One Middle School of Feng Qing now lies. It has been repaired several times and was relocated twice in 1669 and in 1873 (the 8th year of Kang Xi period and the 12th year of Tong Zhi period in Qing Dynasty).
Feng Qing Confucian Temple lies in the west of Feng Qing County Seat, covering an area of 12,000 square meters. It mainly consists of Pan chi (a pool in front of the school in ancient times), Gold Sound and Jade Shake Archway, Ling Xing Gate, Da Cheng gate, the Southern and Northern Wing-rooms, Chong Sheng Feting Ancestral Hall and Kui Xing Pavilion. This is a grand building group built with typical characteristics of eastern architecture. All the buildings are in a precise symmetry with stone steps gradually leading in and every building is properly distributed and skillfully designed. The ancient building group has witnessed the whole history of Feng Qing culture and both its artistic and historical quality are of great value to the further research of Feng Qing culture and education. It is regarded as the “live history” of Feng Qing ancient culture and education.
Ling Xing Gate
The legends goes that “Ling Xing” is the star or constellation that controls the whole heaven, with another name “Wengqu Xing”. The name “Ling Xing” given to the gate means that Confucius was doomed to be born to the earth as one of the constellations. In ancient times, when people held sacrifice ceremony to the heaven, they offered their first sacrifice to the constellation of “Ling Xing”. People built “Ling Xing Gate” as the first gate to the temple to show that we should respect Confucius as much as we respect Heaven. Ling Xing Gate is held up by four principle columns with stone bricks embracing the columns. On the horizontal tablets are the engraved flaming pearls, and the three grand Chinese Characters “Ling Xing Meng” written by Qing Long emperor are carved on the very front tablets. In order to sing highly of the profound influence that Confucian thoughts have on Chinese society, the later generations describe Confucian thoughts as “ everlasting virtues and outstanding morals”. It is said that the idea that Confucius held has been the best throughout history so Ling Xing Gate was built as the first gate to the Confucian Temple .
Da Cheng Gate
Da Cheng Gate is the last gate of Confucian Temple. “Da Cheng”, which means “great achievements”, was from the comments made by Mengzi on Confucius’s whole life career. He said: “ Confucius’ thoughts have integrated all the achievements in history”. This has really praised Confucius to the highest. Three gates stand in a row, with “Yu Zheng Fan” (Jade shake) on the left and the “Jing Sheng Gate” (Gold Sound) on the right. The middle gate is mainly used to offer sacrifice to Mr and Mrs Confucius, and the legend goes that this gate would never open until the emperor himself arrived to offer sacrifice. And another story goes that only when someone got the first place in the imperial examinations would the gate open for people to enter. Da Cheng Gate got its name from Da Cheng Temple .
The southern and northern Wing-rooms.
To the south and north of Da Cheng Temple are two side houses called wing-rooms, commonly known as southern and northern galleries. It is here that people make offerings to the 72 disciples of Confucius and those who made great difference in Confucian school of thoughts.
Da Cheng Temple
Da Cheng Temple is the main temple of Feng Qing Confucian Temple and it is the core of the whole building group. It’s 16 meters high, 13 meters wide and 18.1 meters long. The three golden Chinese characters “Da Cheng Dian” written by Yong Zheng emperor of Qing Dynasty are always shining in the sun. Da Cheng Temple, Tai He Temple in summer palace and Luang Miao Song Tian Temple are honored the title of “the three grandest temples in the east”. In the center of Da Cheng Temple stands the holy statue of Confucius with two couplets hanging on either side, one of which was composed by Shi Zong emperor of Qing Dynasty and the other was composed by Li guowei, the present general secretary of Lin Cang city. Outside the temple, to the north of the gate, there is a large bell founded during Jia Qin period of Qing Dynasty. The bell can never be struck unless it is time of important festivals or some pious and respectful guests are present.
Chong Sheng Feting Ancestral Hall
Chong Sheng Feting Ancestral Hall was built in 1723 (the first year of Yong Zheng period in Qing Dynasty) to posthumously admit the kingship of Confucius’ ancestors. It is a place where people make offerings to Confucius’ parents and his five generations of ancestors. The Chong Sheng Feting Ancestral Hall had ever been pulled down and built as a “’Literature and Art Hall” but was resumed to be rebuilt again in August, 2006. At present, the statue of Confucius is being built inside the hall.
Kui Xing Pavilion
Kui Xing Pavilion, also called “Phoenix Chirping Pavilion”, was built in 1892 (the 18th year of Guang Xu period). The 3-storeyed pavilion is situated at the highest spot of the County Seat with 16 meters in height and 11 meters in width. It has a square base but a hexagonal top, and the whole body of the pavilion is very smart and artistic. Standing in the pavilion, you can have a wonderful bird view of the panorama of the new County Seat. Wandering about in Feng Qing Confucian Temple, you will get a feeling as if you were walking among the history corridors. In the wide yard, some aged pagoda trees are growing healthily and the camellia trees are blooming competitively. The birds sing their merry songs now and then and the faint fragrance of orchids intoxicates the guests time and again. Placing yourself in such a wonderful site, you can’t help thinking that Confucius was actually like a gardener. He set up schools in the deserted fields and planted apricot trees all round. He initiated education and taught students in accordance of their aptitudes. In this way he educated 72 virtuous and talented disciples and more than three thousand students.
Feng Qing Confucian Temple bears the traditional spirits of culture and humanity. While looking at the holy statue of the sage Confucius, enjoying the characteristics of the ancient architecture, you can breathe together with the ancient sage as if you were a contemporary of the age. The words and the morals of the sage will ring forever among all of us!