Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jiading hosts Confucius temple, scholarly museum

Scene at Jiading Confucius Temple
China is home to many temples devoted to the ancient philosopher Confucius. One of the oldest and prettiest is located in a small water town near Shanghai.

Jiading isn’t on the well-known water town route that includes Suzhou and Tongli, which makes visiting here a treat as it’s not overrun by tourists. Jiading, though, was a flourishing town before Shanghai was barely  a gleam in anyone’s eye.

The Confucius temple here oozes peace and serenity, and barely shows its age. Constructed in the 13th century, it took 30 years to complete. It underwent 10 renovations by various dynasties, which is why it is so well-preserved today.

Study hall
Three bridges, with the traditional lion heads, cross a quiet canal into the main hall. A statue of Confucius surrounded by musical instruments and documents stands in the center of the hall.

The temple is next to the Confucian academy, which turned out nearly 200 imperial scholars over the centuries, thus earning Jiading the title of “state of education.” As you wander the academy grounds, you can see the doorless cubicles where scholars sat for their examinations. Today the temple is home to the Shanghai Museum of the Chinese Imperial Examination System. The examination system was used to select government officials.

The temple is a Shanghai Municipality Protected Historic Site.

The temple and academy are located at No. 183 Nandajie Street in Shanghai. Admission is charged.
Scholar at study

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Chinese museums among world's most popular

Three museums in China made the list of the world's most popular museums in 2015, but they're not the ones you'd imagine.

Most people would put the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, the Terra Cotta Warriors or, maybe, the Shanghai museum on the list of the 20 most popular museums in the world.  But you'd be wrong.

According to the TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report for museums, the top museums in China are:
  • No. 2: National Museum of China, in Beijing, with  7,28 million visitors;
  • No. 8: Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, with 5.948 million visitors; and
  • No. 19: China Science and Technology Museum, Beijing, with  3.36 million visitors.
For the fourth year in a row, the Louvre Museum in Paris was the most visited museum in the world. It drew 8.7 million visitors in 2015.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Shanghai restaurant named one of world's best

China has racked up another international award, this time for restaurant food.

Ultraviolet, a restaurant in Shanghai, was just named No. 42 on the list of the world's 50 best restaurants It's also been named one of the best restaurants in Asia.

On its website, Ultraviolet describes itself as the first restaurant in the world to combine food with multi-sensorial technologies. This has resulted in dishes with such exotic names as Whales in Love and Scent of Seaweed Pacific Breeze in its 20-course meal.