Nanjing (historically known as Nanking), which was the imperial capital of several Chinese dynasties, is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. In the Chinese language, Nanjing means “southern capital”. Situated in the lower reach of the Yangtze River, Nanjing sports a long historical heritage and has served as the capital for six dynasties. Most of the Nanjing’s attractions are reminders of the city’s past glory, especially under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In Nanjing, you can not only see a diverse range of historical and cultural buildings, such as ancient temples and distinctive garden buildings, but you can also visit stunning scenic spots and areas. Follow in our footsteps and have a summer fling with Nanjing!
The Confucius Temple
The Nanjing Confucius Temple is located on the northern bank of the Qinhuai River. As one of the 4 great Confucius Temples in China, it is actually a building complex that mainly consists of three parts, namely the Confucius Temple, the School and the Examination Hall. It is a place for people to worship Confucius, the most famous philosopher and educator in ancient China.
Now, it is located in one of the busiest areas in Nanjing near the east and west markets. The front gate of the temple features the Lingxing Gate, which is a stone construction with six columns and three separate gates. When entering from the Lingxing Gate, tourists will then pass through Dacheng Gate, behind which is the central courtyard featuring a straight path leading to Dacheng Hall. There are normally three courtyards within the temple area.
The temple is centered around Dacheng Hall, where a statue of Confucius is enshrined. Other halls and pavilions are laid out symmetrically. The Qinhuai River is regarded as being the companion pool of the temple. On the opposite bank of the river is an imposing red screen wall with green tiles.
The Qinhuai River
The Qinhuai River flows past the Confucius Temple. It is a branch of the mighty Yangtze River, and is the largest river in Nanjing, with a course that runs for approximately 110 kilometers. It is actually a city water system that consists of an outer watercourse and an inner watercourse. When referring to the Qinhuai River, this is usually a reference to the inner watercourse which runs through the city of Nanjing from east to west and then pours into the Yangtze River.
In ancient times, the areas surrounding the Qinhuai River and the Confucius Temple were the most popular and bustling areas. The banks of the Qinhuai River were the gathering place for noble and wealthy families, and were also frequently visited by scholars. It was also a place where locals would purchase daily or luxury items. Floating lights are the most famous thing to see on the Qinhuai River. Any boat or ship, large or small, which takes to the river will be festooned with colored lamps. It is a very important activity for visitors to ride such a boat, and to enjoy the scenery floating past them.
The Nanjing City Wall
The Nanjing City Wall, which is the largest ancient city wall in the world, was built during the Ming Dynasty by the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in the period from 1366 to 1386. It was listed as an important heritage site in 1988 by the State Council of China. With an original length of 34 kilometers and a height ranging from 14 to 21 meters, as well as a 14-meter foundation, 13,616 crenels, 200 guard towers and 13 city gates, the Nanjing City Wall is certainly grand. Nowadays, a well-preserved section approximately 19 kilometers long is the perfect place to visit.
It was built according to the geographic locations for military defenses; and its functions for protecting against water and removing water were also designed scientifically with practicality in mind. Many of the city walls built during other dynasties in other cities were destroyed in wars and over times, but the Nanjing Ming City Wall has stood tall for more than 600 years.it is a historically-significant monument due to its structure, which is the first wengcheng (Chinese:
, also known as “urn walls” a specially designed castle with great瓮城strategic advantages for military defense) structure, and the design of the city moat and bridges.