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County Examination House

County Examination Hall, also called Exam Shed by the folks, was the place where feudal Imperial Examination was held. In the 15th year of the Qing Emperor Daoguang’s reign (1835 A.D.), local county gentleman Zheng Tingrong generously donated 24 thousand liang to build the house, which was ruined afterwards. The present-day County Examination House was built according to the detailed design in Cixi County Annals dated in the Qing Emperor Guangxu’s reign. Facing to the south, the building encompasses an area of nearly 8000 square meters. The entire architectural layout is in traditional Chinese fashion of axial symmetry: along the central axis are the Entrance Gate, Ceremonial gate, Main Hall, Secondary Hall and Examination Office; along the left and right axis are the Examination Rooms, Ancestral Temple. They all conform to the Ming and Qing architectural style.

The County Examination House is an important part of the ancient county town of Cicheng. It epitomizes Chinese culture and the Imperial Examinations, and serves as a historic and cultural reminder for us and our descendants to better understand the ancient Imperial Examination System.