Beijing Imperial Academy is located at 15 Guozijian Street (also known as Chengxian Street) inside the Andingmen area in the Dongcheng district of Beijing. The Academy neighbors the Yonghegong Lama Temple and the Confucian Temple. Pagoda trees line both sides of Guozijian Street. At both the east and the west ends of the street and on both sides of the Imperial Academy’s gate are decorated archways and colored paintings. In fact, this street is now the only old street with four memorial archways in Beijing.

Walking north along the central axis of the Imperial Academy, visitors will pass through Jixian Gate (main gate), Taixue Gate (second gate leading to the main court), a memorial archway built with glazed tiles, Pi Yong Building, Yilun Chamber, and Jingyi Pavilion. On both the east and west sides of the Imperial Academy, in traditional symmetrical layout, there are four halls and six chambers. The Imperial Academy is the only existing ancient state-run university building.

Beijing Imperial Academy is located at 15 Guozijian Street (also known as Chengxian Street) inside the Andingmen area in the Dongcheng district of Beijing. The Academy neighbors the Yonghegong Lama Temple and the Confucian Temple. Pagoda trees line both sides of Guozijian Street. At both the east and the west ends of the street and on both sides of the Imperial Academy’s gate are decorated archways and colored paintings. In fact, this street is now the only old street with four memorial archways in Beijing.

Walking north along the central axis of the Imperial Academy, visitors will pass through Jixian Gate (main gate), Taixue Gate (second gate leading to the main court), a memorial archway built with glazed tiles, Pi Yong Building, Yilun Chamber, and Jingyi Pavilion. On both the east and west sides of the Imperial Academy, in traditional symmetrical layout, there are four halls and six chambers. The Imperial Academy is the only existing ancient state-run university building.

The Imperial Academy Attractions

Glazed Memorial Archway Pi Yong

The Imperial Academy Story

1. The Thirteen Confucian Classics Stone Tablets

The 190 Thirteen Confucian Classics stone tablets, originally housed in the six chambers of the east and west sides of Imperial Academy have now been moved to the hallway between the Imperial Academy and the Confucian Temple. The Thirteen Confucian Classics include The Book of Changes, The Book of History, The Book of Songs, Zhouli, Etikette und Riten (u.E.), The Book of Rites, Spring and autumn Biography Zuo, Spring and Autumn Biography Gongyang, Spring and Autumn Biography Guliang, The Analects of Confucius, The Book of Filial Piety, The Works of Mencius and Erya, altogether containing more than 630,000 words. Jiang Heng devoted twelve years of his life to writing these books. Emperor Qianlong appointed He Shen to the position of chief director, assisted by Liu Yong, to take charge of the carving process. The Thirteen Confucian Classics stone tablets were completed during Qianlong’s reign. Thus, they are also called the Qianlong Stone Tablets.

2. The First Jijiu (Chief Administrator of the Imperial Academy)

The first Jijiu, chief administrator of the Imperial Academy, was Xu Heng, a very famous philosopher in Yuan Dynasty. The over 200 students who enrolled were called Jiansheng. These students were primarily drawn from three categories: first, those who were chosen from the Xiucai (those who passed the imperial examination on the county level) to further study in the Imperial Academy; second, overseas students mainly from Korean, Siam, Cochim and Russia; and third, members of the donating Jiangsheng (those who had to fulfil special financial obligations to the Imperial Academy).

Jack Li

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