Confucius Temple & Garden, Shanghai
We travelled by taxi to the Old City and our driver dropped us off a few hundred metres from the Temple entrance. Only 23 Yuan fare (approx$4) and not worth taking the train.
As we walked to the Confucius Temple there were interesting streetside shops, some even selling live snakes, most likely for dinner. An attractive entrance and small entry fee, 10Yuan and we are onto the Temple grounds. The first building we entered contained Wood Carvings from selected timber pieces, just polished and showing strong resemblance to various objects. Very typical of other styles of Chinese decoration, in particular the use of specific rocks for garden decoration.
We then approached Da Chang Hall which has a statute of Confucius in front of the building. Upon entry to this small but beautifully decorated hall with Confucius sitting in the centre , a large drum to his right and bells to the left, his favourite musical instruments.
This Hall had been relocated to this site in 1855 and since then been seriously damaged several times, the most recent by the Red Guards during the 1960 Cultural Revolution.
The Confucious Temple is considered the most historic site in central Shanghai. Supporting the Temple are some wonderful ponds, gardens and the pagoda. We enjoyed everything at the Temple, especially the gardens which are in keeping with tradition.
The Pagoda was made available to the brightest students.
Adjacent to the Pagoda is the Museum Gift Shop which had a nice range of genuine gifts. My wife purchased a genuine jade Confucius medal for our son. Prices were realistic
This temple is the only Confucian temple in Shanghai. It was established in 1294 but has only been on its present site since 1855. The complex features some wonderful architecture with elaborately designed pagodas, gateways, small bridges, halls and gardens. There's also a small teapot museum (see next tip).
Open: 9am-5pm daily. Admission: Y10.
A beautiful, serene set of buildings set just off a busy, crowded road just outside the city center. It was magnificent to see the lush gardens and view the well kept, stark buildings.
There was an option for just a couple dollars to buy a little card that you could write on and hang in the garden on the trees - a prayer, a note of thanks, anything you'd like to say and it was gorgeous to see all the languages written and strewn about in the garden trees - different people from different places all appreciating the same experience...