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Guozijian Ancient Imperial School

Guozijian Ancient Imperial School

Guozijian is the Imperial School built after the Sui Dynasty. It was the national central administration of learning in most Chinese dynasties and in China’s traditional education system. It is located on Guozijian Street, Anding Gate, Dongcheng District of Beijing. It is also next to the Confucius Temple and Yonghegong Lama Temple. Guozijian is the only existing ancient imperial central college.  

Established in the Yuan Dynasty (1306), the Guozijian was the highest institution during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. It has also served as an advanced research institute for top researchers and scholars, including scholars from foreign countries. In the 20th century, a famous Chinese writer, Lu Xun, worked in the Guozijian to classify books there.

Along the courtyard of Guozijian, there are also many old locust trees. It is said that the trees could give students good luck in the form of high marks on the imperial exam. Many parents still take their children to pay tribute to the trees before they take an important exam.