china edition


Imperial College

Beyond the Confucius Temple is the former Imperial College (Guozijian), where the city library is housed today. It was founded in 1287 by Kublai Khan. The college maintained its educational pre-eminence until 1900 when it was closed. The college masters included various Qing emperors including Shunzi, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong.

The college's students were selected from amongst the best candidates to have passed the imperial examinations at district and province level. A 3-year course of studies had to be followed by a practical year in a government office. After a final examination students could look forward to employment as a state official.