The Confusion Temple

The Confusion Temple (The Wenmiao Temple) at Hongxue Ba, in the northeast of Anshun, dates from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was renovated and rebuilt during the Ming and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, making the temple a magnificent ancient architectural accomplishment. Also known as the Confucius Temple, the Wenmiao temple is a shrine for commemorating and worshipping Confucius (551B.C.-479 B.C.), one of the most famous ancient Chinese educator and founder of the Confucians school of thought.

The Confusion Temple The Confusion Temple

This architectural complex rests upon a sloping field. As such, the buildings appear to rise as you go up the slope. Stone stairs lead you to the front of the architectural complex. Artistically, the Wenmiao Temple is a masterpiece in the field of stone-carving and famous for the exquisite craftsmanship that went into its creation.

At the entrance of the Wenmiao Temple are a stone wall and two overbearing stone memorial archways. The top and the lintel of the archways are beautifully carved with lions, flowers and the Chinese characters for vigor. The wall symbolically reflects both the importance of Confucian doctrines and rituals in ancient Chinese education and Confucius' colossal reputation in the ancient Chinese history. Climbing the stairs you pass the 'Li Men' (Ritual Gate), the 'Yi Lu' (Loyalty Path) and the 'Pan Chi' (Pool in front of ancient school), and then another gigantic stone memorial archway carved with flowers will grab your attention. Carved with many ancient portraits, the railings of this memorial archway depict some classic and instructive Confucian stories. Through the stone yard, you come to the 'Gate of Great Completion' (Dacheng Men). Stone pillars on both sides of the gate are engraved with two dragons in relief (a method of carving in which the design stands out from the flat surface). At the foot of pillars are engraved two lions crouch. Past the gate, the 'Hall of Great Completion'(Dacheng Dian), a main hall in honor of Confucius, lies in front of you. The gate, the hall and two houses constitute the courtyard house. The highlight of the Wenmiao Temple will be seen here. Under the hall are lying two huge pillars made of a whole stone and carved with lions and dragons with a unique carving method (ornamental work containing numerous openings, usually in set patterns). These pillars show an amalgamation of many carving styles, such as deep and low relief. reflecting the ancient carvers' skill and intelligence. Staring at these stone creatures, an image of two huge dragons descending from the heavens will easily conjure up in ones mind. Under a shroud of fog, dragons loom and jump out of the sea. Meanwhile, at the foot of the pillars, pair of stone lions opens their mouths wide and snarl ferociously. These stone creatures carved onto the pillars truly are incomparable stone-carving masterpieces and present a unique visual experience. The Wenmiao Temple is therefore the embodiment of the Confucian spirit.

As one of the most renowned sightseeing spots in Guizhou Province, The Wenmiao Temple of Anshun should definitely be incorporated into your Guizhou travel plans.

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