Zhaoming Academy in Wuzhen – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

zhaoming academy in wuzhen water town

Zhaoming Academy (昭明书院), named after Prince Zhaoming Xiao Tong (萧统) of the Southern Liang Dynasty, stands as a quintessential representation of ancient Chinese private academies. Situated in Wuzhen Water Town, it is one of the most well-preserved academies in southern China.

In the second year of the Tianjian era of the Liang Dynasty (503 AD), Xiao Tong came to Wuzhen with his teacher Shen Yue to study and established a study hall. This study hall was the precursor to Zhaoming Academy. As the eldest son of Emperor Wu of Liang, Xiao Tong had a deep passion for learning and surrounded himself with a cadre of knowledgeable intellectuals. He oversaw the compilation of China’s first anthology of poetry and prose, known as the “Wen Xuan” or “Selections of Refined Literature,” often referred to as the “Zhaoming Wen Xuan.” While the academy has weathered the passage of time, with some buildings succumbing to decay, remnants of its legacy endure. The present-day Zhaoming Academy has been reconstructed on its original site.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceIncluded in the ticket for the western part of Wuzhen Water Town
Opening Hours8.00 – 17.00
Telephone Number0086-0573-88731088

Location and Transportation

Zhaoming Academy is located in the heart of the West Scenic Area of Wuzhen, Tongxiang County Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, China. To get there, you can take bus Tongxiang K347, get off at Ciyun Temple Stop (慈云寺站), and walk about 400 meters to the north.

Highlights of Zhaoming Academy

Architectural Marvels

architectural marvels in zhaoming academy in wuzhen

Zhaoming Academy faces north and features a semi-enclosed two-story hard-mountain-style architectural complex. The layout is meticulous and exudes classical elegance. The main entrance boasts a stone archway built during the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty (1573-1620), standing at 3.75 meters high and 3.8 meters wide. Inscribed on the archway are the words “六朝遗胜 (Legacy of the Six Dynasties),” while the dragon and phoenix boards bear the inscription “梁昭明太子同沈尚书读书处 (Study Place of Prince Zhaoming Xiao Tong and Minister Shen).” This stone archway miraculously survived the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, having been whitewashed during that period. It has since been restored by the Tongxiang County People’s Government and designated as a county-level cultural relic protection unit.

Cultural Hub

cultural hub of zhaoming academy in wuzhen

Within the Zhaoming Academy, the main building houses a library stocked with books and magazines on culture, social sciences, arts, and leisure travel for visitors to peruse. Additionally, there are facilities such as an electronic reading room, lecture hall, calligraphy and painting rooms, and classrooms, providing an excellent environment for learning and exchange for both tourists and scholars. The central part of the academy is the site where Xiao Tong wrote and edited his works. In the front garden, a quadruplet pool is surrounded by ancient trees, creating a tranquil and picturesque reading environment. Adjacent to the pool on the west side is Fufeng Pavilion, a place for tea drinking, reading, and socializing. In the center of the pool stands a Ming Dynasty stele, adding a touch of historical charm to the academy.

Cultural Oasis

cultural oasis in zhaoming academy in wuzhen

Zhaoming Academy not only offers visitors a glimpse of the picturesque scenery of Wuzhen but also serves as an important venue for cultural exchange and academic research. The academy frequently hosts various cultural activities, including calligraphy exhibitions, poetry recitals, and academic lectures, attracting numerous cultural enthusiasts and scholars. Additionally, at the rear of the academy, there is a gallery showcasing Maodun Literature Prize-winning writers and their works. Wuzhen is the hometown of the literary master Mao Dun, and since its fifth edition, Wuzhen has become the permanent venue for the Mao Dun Literature Prize. The gallery displays photos, introductions, and award-winning works of past Mao Dun Literature Prize winners, providing visitors with a significant window into contemporary Chinese literature.

Other Attractions in Western Wuzhen

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