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    he Confucian temple in the Ancient City of Pingyao, Shanxi Province, was first built in the early years of the Zhenguan era (CE 627-649) of the Tang ( CE 618-907) Dynasty, i.e., during the reign of Emperor Taizong, considered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Chinese emperor. The original, modest temple was not built as a memorial temple, but rather, was the family temple of Confucius himself.

    The present-day memorial temple complex, which is vast, has been damaged and destroyed over the years but was restored and enlarged roughly to its present format during the middle of the 12th century CE. The memorial temple complex, though dedicated to Confucius from its inception, has not always been called the Confucian Temple. In earlier times it had different titles, among these, that of Dacheng Palace. Under that title, the temple complex was rebuilt in the 3rd Dading Year (CE 1163) of the Jin (CE 1115-1234) Dynasty, i.e., during the reign (CE 1161-1189) of Emperor Shizong. After the complex was renamed the Confucian Temple (better known today as Pingyao Confucian Temple), its main hall was given the name of Dacheng Palace. Pingyao Confucian Temple is China's oldest preserved Confucian temple. Those parts of the temple complex which stem from the reconstruction in CE 1163 are the only examples of Jin Dynasty Confucian-temple architecture to be found throughout all of China. Moreover, the temple complex boasts 87 sculptures of Confucius and his disciples, the largest grouping of such sculptures in any Confucian temple complex anywhere in the world.