Songyang Shuyuan is known in English as Songyang Academy, which was a type of prvate school in ancient China. Different from national-level academy and district-level schools, shuyuan (academies) were usually private establishments constructed away from towns and cities, offering a quiet environment where scholars and students could pursue learning, studies and thinking without outside distractions.
The shuyuan (academies) originated in the Tang Dynasty ( 618-907) and further developed in the successive dynasties of Song, Ming, Qing. They were places where scholars could teach and study the classics.
Songyang Academy was named “Songyang Temple” when it was originally built in Beiwai Dynasty (484AD). In Sui Dynasty, it was renamed “Songyang Taoist Temple”. In 1035, it was rebuilt and renamed “Songyang Academy”. Many famous confucian scholars came here lecturing and studying. Songyang Academy was known as one of the Four Great Academies of the Northern Song (960–1127) almost in the same period when University of Oxford 1096 was founded in the UK.
Songyang Academy was listed as World Culture Heritage together with other famous sites including Shaolin Temple and Zhongyue Temple under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng” in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth” in 2010.
Now Songyang Academy is located 3km north of Dengfeng City, easily accessible by taking a taxi or public bus No.02. Normally people visit Songyang Academy together with Zhongyue Temple for a half day tour. You may first visit Zhongyue Temple, then take the public bus no.02 directly from Zhongyue Temple to Songyang Academy.
Well, many travelers prefer to visit Shaolin Temple (Buddhism) first, then visit Zhongyue Temple(Taoism), and Songyang Academy(Confucianism). Please follow me into the compound of the ancient academy – Songyang Academy.
The main entrance to Songyang Academy, Chinese traditinal up eaved building with a placard hung above with four Chinese charactors – Songyang Academy.
The main entrance to Songyang Academy
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Luoyang Guided Tours:
Beijing Luoyang 2 Day Round Trip Tour Starting US$ 280 per person
Beijing Luoyang Shaolin Temple 2 Day Round Trip Tour Starting US$ 290
Beijing Luoyang ( Shaolin ) 3 Day Tour – Round Trip by Flight Starting US$ 610 per person
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