Confucius was born in 551 B.C. He tirelessly advocates benevolent governance, education without discriminations, and most significantly the idea of social hierarchy which became the ultimate foundation. China’s social and political structure and ability were built on China’s social harmony that is achieved today.
The Confucius Temple began as Confucius’ simple three-room house, but it has been expanded greatly since his death in 479 BC. It has 9 courtyards, arranged on a central axis, and it is China’s largest imperial building complex after the Forbidden City in Beijing. It is peaceful and contemplative. In the downtown area outside, all buildings are required to be less tall than the main temple, which is 24.8 m high. Entry is free for teachers and also for Confucius family members – so for anyone with the surname ‘Kong’!
Next to the Confucius Temple is the Confucius Mansion – for centuries, the most sumptuous private residence in China, thanks to imperial sponsorship and the Kong clan’s rule and powers of taxation and execution over Qufu. Male heirs held the title of Duke Yan Sheng, from the Song dynasty until 1935. The Confucius Mansion hosts a local opera performance 6 times daily during the summer season
About 2 km north of the downtown area, you can find the parklike Confucius Forest – beautiful in the autumn, with bright and fallen leaves. It covers 200 hectares. Confucius and more than 100,000 of his descendants have been buried here, for the past 2,000 years – a tradition that is still ongoing
The official mansion with family living quarters. It is the mansion of Yansheng Dukes, the oldest male direct descendants of Confucius. This title and rank were conferred, by Emperors, to the direct descendants of Confucius out of respect to him. The Confucius Mansion is the largest family mansion and the 2nd largest building cluster in China, after the Palace Museum in Beijing. Through routine expansion since the Ming Dynasty, it now has 9 rows of courtyards, 480 rooms, totaling 1.2 km2 in size. Scholarship, social hierarchy and humanity are regarded the highest family values of Confucius. Imperial calligraphies and family code of conduct are displayed everywhere. This is by far the largest noble estate with the longest history in China. It has conferred the title of a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. Family record archives, collection of family cookware and costumes are occasionally on display. With advanced notice, you will be able to meet with the 76th great-grandson of Confucius, who is a well-known painter and calligrapher in town.
Location: Inside of Mingu City, Qufu济宁曲阜市明故城内
- Tickets: 140 RMB
- Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Average time spent:4 hours
山东省文化和旅游厅 Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism
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