Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River Scenic Area

(AAAAA Scenic Areas 夫子庙秦淮风光带)
A total of 23 images
  • As the “Mother River” of Nanjing, Qinhuai River is the cradle giving birth to ancient culture of Jinling (Nanjing). The Confucius Temple area, which is the most lively place at inner Qinhuai River, is the First AAAAA scenic area opened to the public for free.The Confucius Temple area has been historically known as the cream of Qinhuai River scenic area,which is commonly known as“Five-kilometer Qin... >>more
  • Ticket (票价):
  • Free
  • Time (营业时间):
  • 24h
  • WebSite (网址):
  • Tel (电话):
  • 52209788
  • Traffic (交通):
  • Metro Line 1/Sanshanjie Station, BusY2,1,4,15,40,44,49,304/Fuzimiao Stop, BusY4,2,14,16,23,26,33,43,46/Changlelu Stop
  • Address (地址):
  • Along the Qinhuai River in Qinhuai Distric





As the “Mother River” of Nanjing, Qinhuai River is the cradle giving birth to ancient culture of Jinling (Nanjing). The Confucius Temple area, which is the most lively place at inner Qinhuai River, is the First AAAAA scenic area opened to the public for free.The Confucius Temple area has been historically known as the cream of Qinhuai River scenic area,which is commonly known as“Five-kilometer Qinhuai”. It is an area integrating natural sceneries, gardens, temples, schools, streets, civil residences with local customs and habits. With Confucius Temple ancient architectural ensemble as the center and the Five-kilometer Qinhuai Riveras the axis, it stretches from Dongshuiguan Park in the east to Xishuiguan Park in the west (Shuixi City-Gate). 

In Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River scenic area, reputed as “A gorgeous place in the region to the south of the Yangtze River and a venue of elegent Nanjing” as well as “Five-kilometer bead curtain”, there are countless scenic spots as well as literary and historic anecdotes. With historical and cultural foundation symbolic of urban development lasting over 2000 years in Nanjing , it is one of the earliest important birthplaces of Nanjing and the most bustling cultural and commercial center in the history of Nanjing, representing its prosperity historically. Along the bank of the Qinhuai River, there is an enclosure for defense as the biggest and the best preserved of its kind in the world, i.e. enclosure for defense within Zhonghua City-Gate. There is Zhanyuan Garden known as the “No. one garden in Nanjing”, a garden reputed as “No. one garden in the southern capital” in the Ming dynasty and one of the five famous gardens in the region to the south of the Yangtze River together with Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, Zhuozhengyuan Garden and Liuyuan Garden in Suzhou and Jichangyuan Garden in Wuxi in the Qing dynasty. As the neighbor of Zhangyuan Garden, there is a museum as the only one majoring in the history of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in China as well as Egret Park (Bailuzhou), the private park of Xu Da (Zhognshan King) as a founding general of the Ming dynasty, in addition to Jiangnan Examination Hall, the biggest imperial civil examination venue in ancient China, etc. In Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River scenic area, there are former residences for such rich and noble families in the Eastern Jin dynasty as Wang Dao and Xie An as well as the former residence of Shen Wanshan, the No. one rich man in the Ming dynasty in the region to the south of the Yangtze River, the former residence of Li Xiangjun as a legendary figure of “Peach-flower fan” in the period from the late Ming dynasty to the early Qing dynasty, the former residence of Wu Jingzi, the writer of “Unofficial History of the Literati” and one of the greatest man of letters in China, the former residence of Qin Dashi, in addition to such historic remains as Wuyi Lane, Taoye Ferry, Dongshuiguan Sluice, Xishuiguan Sluice, ancient Changganli and Phoenix Terrace, etc. They resemble splendid bright pearls inlaid in Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River scenic area. Boating on the Qinhuai River as the No. one River famous for its history and culture in China has become a special tourist brand in Nanjing. Anchoring over the Qinhuai River is all the more regarded as a classic water-borne cruise in this city.

Reading in Depth

If one wished to consider the Yangtze as the ego of Nanjing, and the city wall as its superego, there is only one element that could be called its id: the Qinhuai River. While its source lies more than one hundred kilometers away, it is the section that passes through Nanjing which is the most significant, as for centuries it was here that the women of the flower boats were found.

The river had long since been famous as a trading center, first developed during the Southern Dynasties period that preceded the arrival of the Sui, and once the city recovered from the disaster wrought by Emperor Wendi, the riverbank properties, including the flower boats, grew ever more lucrative. For a price, one could choose songs for the women to sing as old men poled the boats downstream; for a significantly higher price, the old men could be left on the bank.

It should be noted that many of these women were highly cultured, skilled in the classical arts of calligraphy and painting, of singing and dancing, even of chess, and in the best of cases it was these skills that attracted their customers. While this of course does nothing to mitigate the fundamental sadness and exploitation under which most of the women labored, it does somewhat complicate the image of the flower boats as little more than floating brothels.

According to Ye Zhaoyan’s Old Nanjing: Reflections of Scenes on the Qinhuai River, after wilting under the strictures of the Taiping, the flower boats flourished again for a time in the late Qing, but in the years of the Republic, growing pollution and heavy construction led the women to move from the banks of the river to the 'song-and-tea houses' located in and around Gongyuan Street. Such was the situation in 1949 when the Communist armies took Nanjing, and did their best to stamp out the industry altogether.

It must also be said that the Qinhuai has not always been the city's erotic core; it was once simply a river known as Huaishui, and its current course has little in common with its original one. Beginning in 221 B.C., Qin Shihuang united most of present-day China under the banner of his Xian-based Qin empire. Brilliant and ruthless, he is credited with a number of extraordinary achievements: he began construction on what would one day be the Great Wall, and oversaw both the introduction of an efficient weights and measurement system and the standardization of written Chinese; to this day his place in history is defended by the extraordinary army of terracotta warriors discovered in one section of his mausoleum. Unfortunately, he was also somewhat paranoid, and became obsessed with the notion that somewhere in his vast holdings there were corners with such impeccable feng shui that other leaders would invariably rise there to challenge him. In the course of his imperial surveys, he searched for such corners, and found one here in Nanjing. He brought in hundreds of thousands of workers and ordered them quite literally to move mountains---Fangshan in particular---to destroy the area's topographico-spiritual balance.

The riverbanks are now lined primarily with restaurants, apartment buildings and hotels, many of them in buildings reconstructed along their original Qing lines. The flower boats are nowhere to be seen; in their place are tour boats, which depart from the dock in front of the Confucius Temple, head east to the sluice gate at Dongshuimen, then make their way down to the immense citadel at Zhonghuamen. A few landscaped gardens have been added to complement the imported sycamores that have shaded the river for centuries. But beginning in 1996, the city put a great deal of effort and money about 375 million dollars-into cleaning up the water. As a result, a river that once was black with pollution, more sewer than tourist attraction, is now a pleasant urban waterway.

Outside the city walls, the river can be visited via boats that leave from Stone City Harbor. The riverbanks here, now lined with willows and oleander, were first settled some 2500 years ago. in one place the barest remains of Yue City can be seen on the west bank; there's a rectangular stone foundation that still stands intact and solid at the waterline. There is also a bronze statue of Fan Li, the Yue general who oversaw the city's construction.

From: Roy kesey

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