Tainan Confucius Temple in Tainan City, Taiwan

In 1665, Zheng Jing, the son of pirate lord Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga), created the first Confucius temple and center for Confucian learning in Taiwan. When the Qing Dynasty conquered Taiwan in 1683, they quickly adapted it to their own regime. To this day, the elegant three-hundred-fifty-year old compound can be found in Tainan’s historic central district, and is still used to perform Qing-era Confucian rituals.

Inside the compound, the Hall of Edification, which was once the academy, is situated to the right, while the temple palace itself is inside an inner courtyard to the left. Exhibits along the edges of the inner compound showcase the traditional instruments and dances used for Confucian ritual rites. From the ceiling of the temple palace hang memorial plaques dedicated by every Qing Emperor from Kangxi onward, except the last, who took the throne after Taiwan had been annexed by Japan. Plaques dedicated by every president of the Republic of China in Taiwan, from Chiang Kai-shek to the present, hang as well. 

The compound is distinguished by its elegent decoration, which is far more austere than the typically ornate Buddhist and Daoist temples common in Taiwan. 

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