Tainan Confucian Temple


The Tainan Confucian Temple () or Quan Tai Shou Xue (, lit. "First Academy of Taiwan"), is a
Confucian temple A temple of Confucius or Confucian temple is a temple for the veneration of Confucius and the sages and philosophers of Confucianism in Chinese folk religion and other East Asian religions. They were formerly the site of the administration of t ...

Confucian temple
on Nanmen Road () in
West Central District West Central District () is a district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or countie ...
Tainan Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the ...

Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main islan ...



Kingdom of Tungning

The temple was built in 1665 during the
Koxinga dynasty
Koxinga dynasty
, when
Zheng Jing Zheng Jing, Prince of Yanping (; 25 October 1642 – 17 March 1681), courtesy names Xianzhi () and Yuanzhi (), pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes ...
Koxinga Zheng Chenggong, Prince of Yanping (27 August 1624 – 23 June 1662), better known internationally by his Dutch-Romanised Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-T ...
's son) approved of the proposal by Chief of General Staff 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 (明倫堂; Hall of Ethics), built as a place for instructors to offer lectures and cultivate intellectuals. On the west (right) side was the sanctuary called (大成殿; Hall of Great Achievement), housing the mortuary tablet of Confucius, as well as those of his distinguished disciples. The Wen Miao (文廟) and Guo Xue compound, the first of its kind in the history of Taiwan, was thus called the First Academy of Taiwan.

Qing Dynasty

In 1685, soon after the island of Formosa was annexed by the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in the History of China#Imperial China, imperial history of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, wi ...
, the first Taiwan Regional Chief Administrator Chou Chang (周昌) and
Taiwan Prefecture Taiwan Prefecture or Taiwanfu was a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...
Magistrate Chiang Yu-ying (蔣毓英) 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 (陳璸), 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 } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), d ...

' 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 (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 Zhu Xi (; ; October 18, 1130 – April 23, 1200), also known by his courtesy name Yuanhui (or Zhonghui), and self-titled Hui'an, was a Chinese calligrapher, historian, philosopher, politician, and writer of the Song dynasty. He was a Confucian ...
. At this point, the construction of the Wen Miao had developed approximately into its current shape and scale.Tainan Confucius Temple Historical Information Booklet. Page 2. 2009 The Wen Miao continued to undergo several renovations in the wake of major renovation by Chen Ping. In 1777, Taiwan Prefecture Magistrate Chiang Yuan-shu (蔣元樞) undertook a major renovation. When Taiwan was established as a province in 1887, ''Taiwan-fu'' (modern-day Tainan) became the seat of the newly created
Tainan Prefecture was one of the administrative divisions of Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the nort ...

Tainan Prefecture
, and was renamed ''Tainan-fu''. Thus, the Wen Miao was renamed Tainan Prefecture Academy.

Empire of Japan

After 1895, Taiwan was under
Japanese rule Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan, an island country in East Asia * Japanese language, spoken mainly in Japan * Japanese people, the ethnic group that identifies with Japan through culture or ancestry ** Japanese diaspora ...
, the Wen Miao was once again used as a public school and military barracks and was considerably damaged. A major renovation in 1917, under which some parts of the construction were torn down, resulted in the scale and structure of the Wen Miao as it is today.

Republic of China

The temple has been renovated several times over the past 300 years, most recently between 1987 and 1989. Today the temple serves as a popular
tourist attraction A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or an exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure and amusement. Types Places of natural b ...

tourist attraction
and also preserves ancient Confucian ceremonies, which are conducted on a regular basis. The temple also includes storerooms for the ritual implements and musical instruments that are used in these ceremonies.


The temple is the only institution in Taiwan that still practices the offering of three different animals, which are goat, pig and ox, to worship Confucius.

See also

Duke Yansheng The Duke Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of Royal family, royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalt ...
Grand Matsu Temple The Grand Matsu Temple,. & also known as the Datianhou or ,. is a Chinese temple, temple to the Chinese folk religion, Chinese sea goddess Mazu, the apotheosis, deified form of the medieval Fujianese shamaness Lin Moniang, located in the West Cent ...
* Madou Daitian Temple *
State Temple of the Martial God State Temple of the Martial God, also called Tainan Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple () or Grand Guandi Temple, is a temple located in Yongfu Rd., West Central District, Tainan, Taiwan. This temple was previously the palace of Koxinga and Zhu Shug ...
Temple of the Five Concubines The Temple of the Five Concubines (), known also by alternative names including the Temple of the Five Noble Ladies, is a temple in West Central District, Tainan, Taiwan. It was built in front of the tomb of the five concubines of Zhu Shugui, the ...
* List of temples in Taiwan


External links

{{Commons category, Tainan Confucius Temple
Visiting PRC official mobbed in Tainan

(English) *[http://confucius.cca.gov.tw/index01.htm Tainan Confucian Temple official site] (Chinese)
Tainan Confucian Temple page
with many photos
Article about Tainan Confucian Temple
1665 establishments in Taiwan Confucian temples in Taiwan Religious buildings and structures completed in 1665 Temples in Tainan National monuments of Taiwan