White Deer Cave Academy

White-Deer Cave Academy

White Deer Cave Academy is located in the southern foot of Wulaofeng (Five Old Men Peak), and it is known as one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in China. It was established on A.D. 940 and first systematic academy in Chinese history. It was one of the Four Great Academies of China, and today it is maintained as an important landmark.

The academy had its beginnings as a place for the pursuit of learning by the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bo when he was living in retirement. As Li Bo kept a white deer, he was known as the White Deer Teacher and the school premises themselves as the White Deer cave. During 937-942, when the area was under the control of the Southern Tang, a school was officially established here by the name of "Lushan Guoxue" or "Lu-san Goet-hok" (meaning "Mount Lu National School").

In the early years of the Northern Song dynasty, the Lushan Guoxue was transformed into an academy known as the White Deer Cave Academy. The academy was attached great importance by the Emperor Taizong (r. 976-997), who bestowed on it books and awarded official rank to the academy's head. However, it was severely damaged later on.

During 1179-1181 in the Southern Song dynasty, the academy was rebuilt and expanded by Zhu Xi, who became the most distinguished neo-Confucianist. Zhu Xi was in charge of Nankang Prefecture (now Nankang City) at the moment, he took the initiative to rebuild the academy based on the layout of the Temple of Confucius at Qufu. The new academy opened its doors to students and scholars in 1180. The teachings were first centered on the teachings of Confucius. It was involved in instruction, the collection and preservation of books, religious sacrifices, the development of curricula, and lectures by famous scholars, including such notable names as Lu Jiuyuan and later Wang Yangming. The academy continued to flourish for eight centuries. The rules of the Academy as set down by Zhu Xi had a profound and lasting influence on the subsequent development of Confucianism.

In 1959, White Deer Cave Academy was listed as cultural relics under provincial protection. In 1979, White Deer Cave has its own administration office. In 1988, it was listed as key cultural relics and reserve under state protection. The ancient academy took on a new look after being renovated. Now, it is not only cultural and tourist attraction but also a research center for Confucianism

Location: No.27 Huangshan Road, Haihui Town, Lushan District, Jiujiang.
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Entrance Fee: RMB 40
Transportation: Take Bus No.27, 28,101,102,105 to Long Distance Bus Station. And Take shuttle bus (Jiujing-Xingzi) and get off at White Deer Cave.

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