Liuzhou’s Temple of Confucius

Confucius Temple, Liuzhou

Liuzhou, P.R.C.    June, 2012

Well, we finally got around to going to see it, Liuzhou’s Confucian Temple.  We had been waiting for a day that wasn’t completely grey, overcast and dismal so that the pictures would turn out better.  Here in Liuzhou, you can wait a long time for a sunny day, so we took advantage of a still overcast yet slightly brighter day last weekend and rode our bikes over (it rained later in the day, no days without some rain in this season!)

When I say “see it”, I mean going inside the temple complex, as on clearer days you can see the big shiny structure from afar, or from at least 3 of the bridges as you cross the river, so we’ve seen it from a distance almost every day.  As it turns out, the temple seems to shine because the whole under structure, all the beams and support, are covered in copper; although I’m not sure what it is that makes the roof tiles golden.

View of the copper clad structure of the temple.

So according to the haphazard English explanation on the entrance ticket (10 Yuan), the temple was established in the Tang dynasty and destroyed by fire in the 1920’s, and so maybe it was.  I’ve watched the construction of the current structure for the last two years, and I can’t say whether there really was the ruins of another older temple under it or if the Chinese penchant for all things old and venerable has led the promoters of the current temple to use a hefty dose of poetic license and fabricate some ancient glorious tradition for the site.  It’s hard to say here in China, since keeping up appearances will almost always trump the reality of any given situation.

Confucius in all his wise, gold coated splendor.

Historical significance or lack thereof aside, it’s still a nice place to visit.   It’s in a peaceful and quiet locale along the river and offers very nice views from the upper stories of the temple and the pagoda tower.   And you just gotta love anything with  a giant golden Confucius inside.

Climb to the top of the pagoda tower for a good view.

Behind the main temple building are a few halls, the one pictured below shows the traditional Chinese architectural style of the circle and the square.  Square shapes represent “Earth”, while the circular or round shape above is meant to represent “Heaven”.  The most famous example of this is the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, but the same idea is being expressed here in Liuzhou.

Heaven and Earth represented in traditional Chinese architecture.

At any rate, the whole complex is a rather pretty example of classic Chinese architecture even if it was just built recently,very  picturesque and photogenic, so Gary and I plan to return and get someone to take some fun photos of us in Chinese costume, as some others were doing the day of our visit.

The temple mise en scene invites to be used as a classic backdrop for photos.


*** All photo credit for this post goes to Gary, he took all the pictures.  Good job kid! ****

Wanderlust Wonderings by christystarfish.



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