In the Chinese world, the veneration of Confucius often is related to politics. Taichung Confucius Temple is not an exception, as it was built in the 70s to support the claim of the Nationalist government as the legitimate heir of the classical Chinese culture.
But this modern temple is also a fine (and uncommon) example of the Song style, colorful and sober at the same time, very different from the Qing and Fujianese styles normally used for temples in Taiwan.
The Confucius Temple is a peaceful oasis in downtown Taichung, unless you happen to be there on September 28th, Confucius’ birthday and Teachers’ Day. On that day archaic and fascinating ceremonies are celebrated, as you can see in the video below, shot in Taipei.
Facts about Confucius Temple
- Taichung Confucius Temple is a modern temple. It was built between the years 1972 and 1976, during the last years of Chiang Kai-shek rule, when Taichung was considered the capital of the Taiwan province, yet did not have a Confucius Temple.
- The layout of the temple follows the original, and larger, Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong (birthplace of Confucius in China).
- The temple itself was built following the temple-style of the Song Dynasty, characterized by a classical simplicity and clean lines.
- The beams and the roofs are decorated with stylized grass and flowers, painted in vivid colors.
You will spot classrooms in the galleries at the side of the main courtyard. Traditional arts, such calligraphy, are taught in Confucius Temples. You can join these courses. The temple hosts a library too.
The Martyrs’ Shrine is just next door. Originally it was a Shinto shrine where Japanese soldiers were honored. After WWII it was dedicated to the martyrs that died fighting for the Republic of China.
The Martyrs’ Shrine is only open on weekends (9.00am-5.00pm). On those days you can enter directly from the Confucius Temple premises. During the week you can still have a peek inside from its main gate on Lixing Rd, close to Shuangshi Junior High School.
How to get to Confucius Temple
The Temple and the Martyrs’ Shrine can be reached by feet from the Main TRA (Train) Station. It is a long walk (20-30 minutes) but on your way you can stop in Taichung Park and in Chong Yo Department Store.
Buses #41, #99, #142, #163 and #67 stop in front of Shuangshi Junior High School, in Lixing Rd, a few meters from the main entrance to the Martyrs’ Shrine. Buses #1, #8, and several others, stop at the intersection of Sanmin Rd. & Jinzhong St., about 200 meters west of the Temple. The opposite terminal of line #67 is Donghai Villa, so this bus is quite convenient if you are coming from Xitun District and the western part of Taichung.
- From TRA Station: 120~150 TWD (10 min)
- From THSR Station: 280~300 TWD (25 min)
- From Taichung Airport: 400~450 TWD (40 min)