Fun in Fuzimiao
Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
135Trip End Ongoing
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Had heard so much about Hunan Lu - or as it is known to many - Food Street - I thought it was time I went and had a look to see what all the fuss is about. Well......I was just a tad disappointed. The area may liven up at night time but during the day it all looks rather tacky and I imagine all the neon lights would look even tackier under cover of darkness!!!! Yes there were lots of shops and yes there were lots of restaurants serving all sorts of food but it all had a shabby feel to it. Never the less I can now say "been there, done that" and tick it off my list of places to see.
On the other hand my day spent in the Fuzimiao area was delightful
First stop was to visit Confucius Temple which was built in the Song Dynasty (1034) ,expanded in the East Jin Dynasty and rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty (1869). The temple is centered on Dacheng Hall, where a statue of Confucius is enshrined. Other halls and pavilions are laid out symmetrically with delightful names such as Great Achievement Hall, Bright Virtue Hall, Blue Cloud Tower and of course a Drum Tower to the west and a Bell Tower to the east. The whole complex gives you a glimpse of olden times when Confucius was considered the great thinker and educator of ancient China.
Next to the Confucius Temple, there is the Jiangnan Imperial Examination School which was also founded in the Song Dynasty, The school was used to administer the rigorous civil service exams used to choose officials during China's imperial age. At the height of its prosperity, the complex contained 20,644 examination cells, each just one square meter in area. Candidates spent a total of nine days in their cell--the wooden desk plank turned into a bed at night--without the freedom to leave
Wuyi Alley, or “Black Clothes Lane”, was named after the Wu soldiers, who wore black uniforms. During the Jin dynasty, Wuyi Alley contains the residence of Minister Wang Dao, as well as Minister Xie An, and finally a few of Nanjing’s noble families. One infamous resident was Li Xiangjun a courtesan from Suzhou who became the concubine of Hou Fangyu, a leading anti-eunuch dissident scholar in the last years of the Ming Dynasty. She was also known as one of the "eight beauties of the Qinhuai area".
After absorbing all this history and culture I felt it was only fair that I then returned to the modern age via.....shopping!!!! YES the area is a maze of little shops all wanting to sell you their wares!! Great fun haggling for a few goodies and have been told by my students that I did well - no tourist prices for me!!!
Still much more to see in the area so think I'll head back on Monday (another day off!) and see some more of the sights!
Bye for now. xxx