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The Qiongtai Academy

The Qiongtai Academy was the oldest academy in Hainan and at one time, it was the supreme institution of Qiongshan. Now it is the site of the Qiongshan Teachers' Training School. It was initially built in 1705 in memory of Qiu Jun, a famous scholar from the Ming Dynasty (1368_1644) and being highly respected for his accomplishment in writing and his modesty. The academy was named Qiongtai because Qiu Jun was called Mr. Qiongtai.

The two_storey main building is a typical Chinese brick_and_wood structure architecture with green tiles, red corridors, carved beams and painted rafters. The name of the main building is the "Kuixing Lou Building".

"Kuixing" was believed to be the god of examinations and the building was named after Kuixing to "help" the students who trained here to win the imperial examinations.

The academy became celebrated after a well_known Cantonese and Qiong drama was written based on events there. Sometime during the Qing Dynasty (1644_1911), a student of the academy fell in love with a maid of local governor. At that time, young people did not have the right to choose their husband or wife.

So the governor was very angry after he found out about their relationship. The maid escaped before he could punish her and ran into the academy for help. The governor wanted to search the academy, but the schoolmaster denied his request and sent the maid out of the city during the night. Finally, the maid and the student married. They lived happily together, and later the student succeeded in the imperial examinations.

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