Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today we will go and visit the Yuelu Academy! Yuelu Academy is one of the four famous academies in China, and it was established by Zhudong, magistrate of Tanzhou prefecture in 976A.D at the time of Northern Song Dynasty. The academy accepted disciples throughout the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was only in 1903 that the academy was transformed from a school of traditional Confucian learning to an institute of higher learning and in 1926 it was officially named Hunan University.
Early in 1015, Emperor Zhen Zong of the Song Dynasty awarded the academy hid Majesty's own handwriting Yuelu Academy on a tablet. Form then on many famous scholars and great thinkers gave lectures here, among them were Zhangshi, Zhuxi and WangYangming, thus making a great impact on the province's culture and education. Most of the existing buildings here were constructions of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and the bulk of the engraved stone plates and inscribed tablets have all been kept intact, In 1956 the academy was listed as a historical site at the provincial level and later, in 1988 it became a historical site at the state level. The last restoration project started in 1981 and the major part was completed in 1987.
Now, here we are at the He Xi Platform, He Xi means the the splendour of the sunrise, It was named by Zhuxi, a great idealist philosopher of the Confucian school during the Song Dynasty, The platform was first built on the top of Yuelu hill, by Zhanshi, and later in 1528, a pavilion was built on it, But it became deserted with the passing time. In 1790 Luodian, the master of the academy, built a platform at the present site, In 1820, the succeeding master, Ouyang Houjun, renamed it He Xi Platform in order to memory Zhuxi and Zhanshi. It was restored in 1868.
On the inner walls of the platform are two big Chinese characters Fu and Shuo, which mean blessing and longevity respectively. Legend has it that the Character Shuo was written with a broom soaked in yellow mud by a Taoist master at the time Master Luodian was attending a banquet in honour of the examination officials and those dispels who had passed the civil exam Hence it has been regarded as having celestial touch The character Fu was written by Luodian, the master himself.
This gate in front of us is the Main Gate, the gate was formerly built at the time of the Song Dynasty, and was then called Central Gate. The main gate underwent both destruction and reconstruction in the course of time. The present structure was once thoroughly renovated in 1868.
The characters Yuelu Academy on the horizontal tablet were inscribed by Emperor Zhen Zong of the Song Dynasty. It was presented as an award to Zhoushi, the master of the academy, when he was summoned to the emperor's presence. On both door posts are couplets which read The kingdom of Chu, unique home of the talents, The Academy of Yuelu, the very cradle of all . It was composed in the Qing Dynasty by the master of the academy, Yuan Jiangang and his disciple Zhang Renjie. This gate was the Second Gate, It was first built in 1527 during the Ming Dynasty. It underwent repairs and restoration many times .It was completely devastated during the Anti-Japanese War .In 1984, the gate was restored to its former state.
This is the Lecture Hall, where the students had lessons here, it was first built at the time of the Song Dynasty and was once named Jing Yi Hall. Now, it has a more elaborate name The Hall of the Loyalty, Liability, Honesty and Integrity, because on the inner walls of the hall are engraved four big Chinese Characters: loyalty, Liability, honesty and integrity. They were handwriting by the great scholar, Zhuxi, who once lectured here. Others, such as the School Regulations, the Administrations and Way to Read were masterpieces of the masters of the academy. On the two horizontal tablets hanging on top were written:
Learn before you can probe the infiniteness of the universe.
The doctrines taught here in the south are genuine Confucian doctrines.
They were inscribed by the emperor Kangxi and Qianlong respectively during the Qing Dynasty.
The building in front of us is the Yushu Library, yushu literally means imperial books, so Yushu Library, built in 999A.D in the early Song Dynasty, was a place to keep imperial books. Books were continuously sent here during the succeeding dynasties. The library was first named Classics Treasuring House in the Song Dynasty, Classic Venerating House in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, and finally Yushu Library in the Qing Dynasty. It had been repaired and expanded many times, and now it has a collection of over twenty thousand Chinese classics. This building was rebuilt on its original site in 1986.
The two small pavilions Xi Quan and Ni Lan, built during the Song and Ming Dynasties, were restored to the right and left of the compound galleries in order to display cultural relics.