It was built in 1655 in memory of Confucius and with the hope to keep Confucianism alive in the country. The construction of the temple was done to the order of Chen Yung-Hua, the son of Koxinga who was the arch commander of the Ming Troops of Ming Dynasty. The temple was then named as the Hsien-Shih Sheng-Miao or the Holy Temple of the Great Teacher.
Nowadays, what you will see of the temple was a result of several renovations done throughout the years: an architectural heritage, three hundred years in the making.
STRUCTURE AND ARCHITECTURE
As a historical landmark, the temple draws a lot of crowd each year. But what makes the temple most interesting lies not only in its age, but also in its structure and architecture.
Inside the temple you’ll find 15 structures and sacred tablet sacrifices (dedicated to the 16 students of Confucius). On the ceiling between the beams and the pillars, are 12 horizontal boards given by the monarchs since the early Manchu Dynasty, making the Taiwan Confucian Temple to be the temple with the most complete collection of royal horizontal boards from all the dynasties.
You will also see ceremonial musical instruments used from the Manchu Dynasty to modern period, as well as various other religious and cultural pieces that all make the temple an interesting temple to visit.
Inside the grounds of the Confucius temple in the courtyard, there are also Banyan trees carefully planted to achieve the peaceful ambiance it has now. The Main Hall (Dacheng Hall) is surrounded by small numerous halls that connect the temple grounds to the Dacheng Gate. Near the Dacheng Hall you’ll find the Hall of Edification where there are interesting Confucian inscriptions done in artistic calligraphy.
Loosely speaking, the structure of the temple now is the result of the reconstruction and the renovation done in 1917 during the Japanese colonization of the country. And with the maintenance and preservation it has received, the Confucian Temple is truly deserving of its title “Class 1 Historic Site” as awarded in 1983.
So if you’re looking for a historical, cultural and spiritual experience in Tainan, one of the best places to head on to is indeed the Taiwan Confucian Temple. Here, you’ll find history, culture and religion all at the same time.
How to get there: The temple is located at Number 2 Nanmen Road, West Central District in Tainan. To get there, take the Zhongshan Highway (No. 1) from the city center, and then take the Rende Exit. Go staright ahead to Route 182 through Dongmen Road. Then take the Fugian Road until you see the Nanmen Road on the right. Turn right on the Nanmen Road and follow the road signs going to the Taiwan Confucian Temple.
Opening Hours: The Taiwan Confucian Temple is open from 9:30 A.M. till 5:00 P.M.