Changhua Confucius Temple, Changhua City, Changhua County, Taiwán
Changhua Confucius Temple had the most complete education system of any public educational institution in Taiwan in the early Qing Dynasty. Baisha Academy, one of the four major educational institutes in Taiwan at the time, was set up here. For this reason, this Confucian temple played an important role in the cultural and educational development of Central Taiwan. Several inscription plaques bestowed by Qing emperors still hang in Dacheng Hall.
Among them, one with the inscription “heretofore unseen” from the Yongzheng Emperor and another inscribed with the phrase “as great as heaven and earth” from the Qianlong Emperor have the highest historic value. Another celebrated object kept in the temple is the large bronze bell commissioned by former County Magistrate Yang Gui-sen. Other special features of the hall include the sides of Dacheng Hall’s foundation platform, which are adorned with patterned tiles, and the lifelike dragon carved on the center staircase, which serves as a symbolic passage for the emperor and divine deities.
Changhua Confucius Temple is the only Confucian temple in Taiwan to have brick carvings of flowers and birds inlaid in the walls on either side of its Ji Gate (the Halberd Gate), and six heavenly vessels, which represent the idea that Confucius was a conduit between heaven and earth due to his vast knowledge, along the roof ridge of its Lingxing Gate (the outer gate of a typical Confucian temple). For this reason, Changhua Confucius Temple is considered to be an exemplar of mid-Qing dynasty architecture in Taiwan, particularly in comparison to the Confucian temples of Fengshan, Chiayi, Danshui, etc., that either no longer exist or are poorly preserved.
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