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The glazed paifang at the entrance of the Beijing Guozijian
One of the central halls of the Guozijian
The Emperor's reading room with an imperial throne
A room houses traditional Chinese instruments

The Beijing Guozijian (北京国子监/北京國子監), located at the Guozijian Street (国子监街/國子監街) or Chengxian Street (成贤街/成賢街) in Beijing, China, was the imperial college during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (although most of its buildings were built during the Ming Dynasty)[1] and it was the last Guozijian of China and is an important national cultural heritage. It 1898, the Guozijian was disbanded during the Hundred Days Reform of the Qing Dynasty, and it was replaced by the Imperial Capital University, later known as the Peking University.

The "Guozijian", often translated into English as the Imperial Academy or Imperial College was the national central institute of learning in ancient Chinese dynasties. It was the highest institute of learning in China's traditional educational system. Emperors in imperial China would also frequently visit the Guozijian to read Confucian classics to thousands of students.[2]



Biyong of Guozijian in Beijing.jpg

The Guozijian was first built in the 24th year of Zhiyuan Reign of the Yuan Dynasty, and was reconstructed and renovated on a large scale during Yongle and Zhengtong reigns of the Ming Dynasty.[3]

The administrative officials of Guozijian were called Jijiu (the chief), Siye (Dean of Studies) and Jiancheng etc.[3] The students who studied at the Guozijian were called Jiansheng, and they mainly studied Confucian classics.[3]

Location and layout

The Guozijian is situated at the central area of the Guozijian Street and adjoining several other well known imperial structures of Beijing, and the complex of Guozijian accords with the Chinese tradition which dictate that the temple should be on the "left" and the school or college on the "right".[2] To the east of the Guozijian, lies the Confucius Temple, the second largest Confucius temples in all of China and the Yonghegong Temple, the largest Lama Temple in Beijing.

The whole complex of Guozijian faces south, and it has a total building area of more than 10,000 square meters or 107,639 square feet.[3] Along the central axis of Guozijian are the Jixian Gate (the front gate), Taixue Gate (the second gate), the Glazed Archway, Biyong, Yiluntang, and Jingyiting (Jingyi Pavilion). On its east and west sides are the six halls and palaces in the traditional symmetrical layout.[3]


See also



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