In front of the Wall of Supreme Knowledge is the half-moon-shaped Pan Pool spanned by the graceful three-arch stone Pan Bridge. The balustrades on each side of the bridge are carved in the shape of bamboo plants, while the pillar heads between the balustrades look like the head of a calligraphy brush. Naturally, these have a symbolic meaning, with the bamboo signifying enduring moral principles and the brush heads representing literary merit.
According to ancient tradition, the candidate who achieved the top grade in the imperial examinations would cross over the Pan Bridge and then walk through the Lingxing Gate and Yi Gate to the Dacheng Hall, where he would pay his respects to Confucius.
The pool also had other more practical uses as a source of water for fighting fires, cooling the hot summer air, and enhancing the fengshui of the temple.