The Nanjing exploration continues! This time I went to Fuzi Miao (Confucian Temple), the Qinhuai River, and a museum that included tons of info on Nanjing Brocade and a famous book called Dream Of The Red Chamber. I’ve got brief histories, tips, pics, and videos below for you!
Confucian Temple (Fuzi Miao) & Qinhuai River
If you see pictures of major Chinese cities all in the row, the picture of Nanjing will likely be of the Confucian Temple area. It’s simply a gorgeous district with a long history.
I went once on a Sunday evening during a Chinese national holiday, and once on a random Tuesday morning. The video shows the difference VERY clearly.
Click the image below to watch the Fuzi Miao vlog on my YouTube channel!
Brief History Of Fuzi Miao
About 1,600 years ago, a university and temple regarding Confucianism were built on the Qinhuai River in Nanjing. Everything was destroyed several times, most notably in the Song Dynasty (1034 AD) and then again in 1937 during WWII. Each time it was destroyed, the place was rebuilt and made to be bigger and better. In the 1980s, the still-standing Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture was revamped and turned into a tourist destination.
Fuzi Miao Today
Fuzi Miao is still associated with Confucianism as it has been for over 1,500 years, but when you go today it feels more like a Chinese version of Downtown Disney than a temple. There are tons of street vendors and restaurants selling the same types of snacks, gift shops selling the same mass-produced products, tour options via bus, boat, or rickshaw, and tons of people. Oh and let’s not forget that Fuzi Miao has it’s own Haagen Dazs, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut.
Best Time To See Fuzi Miao
The locals will tell you to go at night because that’s when it’s the most lively at Confucian Temple, and the whole place is lit up. I’m going to suggest the opposite. If you’re able, I highly suggest going on a weekday morning to spend a lazy afternoon strolling up and down the streets under the shade of the trees with the birds still chirping. It’s incredibly beautiful and relaxing, especially if you hit it on a sunny day.
How To Get There
If you take a cab there, you can show them this: 夫子廟. If you take the Metro you can get off at Sanshan Street on line 1 or Confucian Temple on line 2 and follow the signs that have those characters (they may even have “Confucian Temple” in English, too!).
Brocade is a jacquard silk fabric, but Nanjing brocade is a renowned silk fabric of incredibly high quality that dates back more than 1,500 years. It’s the most expensive fabric in the world, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes it’s referred to as “cloud pattern brocade”, not because of an actual cloud pattern, but because “the patterns vary as much and are as beautiful as the clouds in the sky”. Around the early 1300s, weavers began to add real gold to the fabric, making it even more prized.
The fabric is so valuable that it was only meant to be worn by royalty until the late Qing Dynasty when the industry boomed. According to records there were more than 300,000 people in Nanjing making a living off of brocade production. The looms required to make Nanjing brocade fill up an entire room and require 2 people to operate. My instinct is to assume the brocade I see today is mass-produced, but actually there’s still no modern machine that has successfully replaced these old-fashioned looms.
Dream of the Red Chamber
Dream of the Red Chamber is a semi-autobiographical book written in the 1800s by a Chinese author. It was the first novel written in the common written language rather than Classical Chinese, so everyone could read it – not just the well-educated. It seems that everyone really did read it, too. There are a ridiculous number of characters involved in the story, which is about the decline of the royal family in the Qing Dynasty (China’s last dynasty).
I couldn’t find anymore information that I found interesting, but I wanted to explain that bit since I included the book’s museum in the video above. If you’re curious for more information, I’ll link the Wikipedia article here.
In case you’re new to LVSP – I’ve been living in Nanjing now for about 3 months, so I’ve blogged about a ton of places already! Follow the links below!
Thanks for reading! Talk to you very soon 🙂
Pin this article: