Jiangnan Examination Hall - largest examination hall in Imperial Ancient China
Last Update: 15th October 2020
Originally established in 1168, the Jiangnan Examination Hall was the largest and most influential of its kind in the feudal society in ancient China. Between 1862 and 1874, it covered an area of more than 3 hectares, being able to accommodate more than 20,000 persons to take part in the examination at the same time. In 1905, the central government abolished the imperial competitive examination. Consequently, the hall finished its mission in the history of this kind of examination.
Jiangnan Examination Hall Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Jiangnan Gongyuan (江南贡院)
- Things to do there: Photography, History and Culture, Architecture
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Architects
- Time required: 1 – 2 x hours
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What to expect at the Jiangnan Examination Hall
Jiangnan Examination Hall offers a great chance to know some about the history and great influence of the imperial competitive examinations in ancient China. You’ll see many common tools applied in the hall.
Originally built in 1534, Mingyuan Building was the main building of the hall. It was rebuilt between 1862 and 1874. Nowadays, it is the oldest building for the examination. And it was the tallest building at that time.
Hao She Rooms for examination participants to have meals and live during the examination are located east and west to Mingyuan Building. In the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912), there were 20,644 Hao She rooms in the hall. At that time, participants needed to take part in 3 examinations. Every examination lasted for 3 days and 2 nights. They had to take their own food for the examination. What’s more, the examination was usually held in summer. It was hot and there were many mosquitoes around.
Feihong Bridge is the spot separating the examination and the papers inspection. Exquisite reliefs on the bridge symbolizes that the participants could get good scores and finally acquire a position in the government.
China Imperial Examination Museum introduces the examination history through some precious exhibits, pictures and other materials. At Yingbing Hall, several multimedia videos tell the life of persons from younger children to succeeding in the imperial examination in feudal China. You’ll know the historical process from birth to prosperity to decline and abolition of the examination system via historical relics and pictures. The original papers are also on display in the museum. The statues of participants who are taking part in the examination present the scene of the examination. Statues of the celebrities who were chosen to be the Number One Scholar stand there.
Best time to visit the Jiangnan Examination Hall
If you’d like to visit the hall for photography purposes, the best time to visit the hall is at night.
The best months to visit are from April to October.
How to get to the Jiangnan Examination Hall
Several buses pass by the hall. Thus, there are several options.
- Rent a a vehicle to the hall. This is the quickest and most direct option.
- Take Bus 1, 4, 7, 15, 30, 31, 40, 44, 49, 202 or Bus 304 to the Stop of Fuzimiao (夫子庙站). Then, walk to the hall.
Additional Jiangnan Examination Hall Travel Advice
- Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00
- As at 15th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the hall (including China Imperial Examination Museum) is 50 CNY per person; children between 1.2m tall (1.2m tall included) and 1.4m tall (1.4m tall not included) are charged 25 CNY per person. For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
Interested in visiting Jiangnan Examination Hall on a Tour?