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Donglin Academy leads free opening of national cultural heritage sites

Updated : 2018-06-12
(chinadaily.com.cn)

Donglin Academy leads free opening of national cultural heritage sites
The front door of Donglin Academy. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Donglin Academy, the first national cultural heritage conservation site in Wuxi to offer free admission in 2018, has attracted 200,000 visitors in the past five months, over 80 percent of the total amount in 2017.

Famous for the antithetical couplet – "The sound of winds, raindrops and readings enter my ears, the affairs of families, nations and world attract my attention" - Donglin Academy has a history of over 900 years and attracts many visitors from home and abroad every year.

Though its ticket price was reduced from 16 yuan ($2.50) to 5 yuan in 2014, few locals chose to visit Donglin Academy even on weekends or holidays.

"We opened Donglin Academy for free for 10 days on Dec 20. To our surprise, many locals flooded into the site all week," said Rong Junyan, head of the academy.

Donglin Academy leads free opening of national cultural heritage sites
Lize Hall in Donglin Academy. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Donglin Academy, occupying an important position in China's history regardless of politics, ideology, culture or education, now welcomes visitors from all over the world – for free.

Donglin scholars paid much attention to rigorous study and correct behavior. They earnestly practiced, preached and struggled for reform. They were warm-hearted patriots, and their virtues became a valued part of ancient China's cultural legacy.

The Donglin spirit of "studying to save the world" and “regarding world affairs as their own responsibilities", will continue to enlighten, educate and inspire people to struggle for social and civil progress.

As the model of a free national cultural heritage conservation site, Donglin Academy is expected to call for other similar sites to reduce their prices and stimulate visitor's interest in historical Chinese culture.

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