Also known as Wenchang Shrine, Lantian Academy is dedicated to Wenchang Dijun (the God of Culture and Literature). Founded in the 11th year of Daoguang Emperor's reign in the Qing era (1831 CE), the academy can be called the ""first school in Nantou"". Throughout its history, the academy has exerted considerable influence over the development of culture and education in Nantou County. Lantian Academy, Dengying Academy in Caotun, and Mingxin Academy in Jiji are known collectively as the ""three great historic academies of Nantou County"". The name ""Lantian"" stems from the tale of ""planting jade in Lantian"", likening the task of educating the next generation to planting jade, with hopes that each generation can be better than the last. The name also carries the meaning of transforming unpolished jade into a beautiful piece of jewelry. When the idea to build Lantian Academy was first conceived, the academy was supposed to have a layout of three main structures and two wings, but after a few large-scale renovations, the academy was moved to its current site with its current layout: a magnificent and symmetrical sanheyuan complex with a single main structure and two side wings enclosed by walls. The hall also houses intricate ornamentation in wood carving and ancient plaques from the Qing era that have significant historical value.
The newly-built gate "Qi Xian Gate" is located in the southeast corner, which is a rare construction method in general academies.
Many of the doors of the academy are very eye-catching with red portraits or couplets on a blue background
Through the moon gates on both sides, you can reach the "Jihuatang" behind
The side rooms on both sides are made of traditional stacked-truss wooden frames and old-fashioned soil houses.
This Jiaozhi pottery decorative painting is the finishing touch story of Sun Zhenren (Sun Simiao, a famous doctor in the Tang Dynasty)
There is "Dragon Fairy Water" on the left wall, which has the function of beautifying the front courtyard.
The plaque "Tian Shun Heng" with golden lettering on black background was made in the 22nd year of Daoguang, Qing Dynasty (1842); the plaque with "Civilized Meteorology" with golden lettering on dark red background was made in Tongzhi 3rd year of Qing Dynasty (1864)
The title plate of Lantian Academy with golden characters on a blue background was produced in the 13th year of Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty (1833). The middle is the regular script "Lantian Academy" with 4 vigorous fonts. The decoration of the dragon head at the bottom is also very eye-catching.
There is a cement-built Qixian Gate at the entrance of Lantian College. This gate has the function of breaking evil and avoiding evil. It is a rare building in general colleges or temples.