Imperial Academy

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Guozijian (Imperial Academy) was the highest educational institution in the country in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The academy was first built in the Yuan Dynasty on the east side of the Confucius Temple, in conformity with the traditional Chinese architectural rule of temple to the left and school to the right.

The academy was renovated in the reign period of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, in the style of a Confucian Temple. The color of the glazed roof tiles was then changed to yellow, which was the color reserved for the emperor. Emperor Qianlong ordered the texts of the Thirteen Classics of Confucianism to be inscribed on steles, which were then erected in the six halls on the east and west sides of the academy. This set of steles is the only complete set of the thirteen classical works inscribed on stone.