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The Forest of Steles in Xi’an

On Sanxue Street in Xi’an City, northwest China, the Forest of steles was the location of Confucian Temple. It was the location of Confucian Temple. It was built in 1087 or the second year of the Yuanyou reign of the Northern Song Dynasty to keep Thirteen Classics carved in the Kaicheng reign of the Tang Dynasty. It has been expanded step by step and developed into a forest of steles in early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 ). Today it has seven exhibition halls, six galleries and one stele pavilion. On display are more than 1,000 carved steles front different historical periods from the Han Dynasty (206 220 B,C.) to the Qing Dynasty ( 1644-1911). They are excellent works by famous calligraphers from various historical periods and are one of China’s treasure houses of calligraphic art. The most valuable ones are those by the famous calligraphers from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The inscriptions on these steles are historical materials. The “Stele of the Nestorian in China,” and the “Stele of Monk Amoghavajra in the Tang Dynasty” and others provide important data for studying the relations between China and other countries. The Forest of Steles in Xi’an is praised as a treasure house of the Oriental culture and the most ancient treasure house of stone carved calligraphic works which provides valuable materials for studying Chinese history, calligraphy and painting,

The Stele of Classic of Filial Piety on Stone Platform stands by the entrance to the Forest of Steles and is the first huge stele among those in Xian. It was en graved in 745 and the inscription was written by the Tang Emperor Xuanzong. The first part is the Preface to the Classic of Filial Piety which expresses the emperor’s aspiration to administer the country with filial piety. The second part is the original text of the Classic of Filial Piety edited by Zeng Sheng, a disciple of Confucius. This stele is composed of four stones standing on stone platforms, so the name of the stele.

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