Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius.
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Confucius (551-479 BC), the world-famous Chinese philosopher born in Qufu, Shandong Province, more than 2,500 years ago, has greatly influenced Chinese society with his ideas passed right down to the present time. The feudal rulers of subsequent dynasties used Confucianism as a moral prop to consolidate their power and constructed the town of Qufu as if it were a Mecca. The result is a remarkable group of ancient buildings with valuable art treasures. With the booming development of travel and tourism in Shandong Province, Qufu has recently been revamped to its former glory and become one of the tourist attractions in the province. It attracts millions of visitors from home and abroad each year. In size and scale, this area ranks second only to the Forbidden City (72 hectares or 178 acres) in Beijing.
Confucius Family Graveyard 孔林
Confucius Family Graveyard is the place where the tombs of Confucius and most of his descendants are located. More than 7 kilometers in perimeter, the cemetery is crowded with centuries-old evergreens and stone panthers, griffins and guardians, indicating the highest funerary honours. Ancient pines and cypresses total 22,000, while 40,000 trees of various types have been planted since 1949. Scattered among the trees are 1,000 steles and 60 architectural structures with red pillars, green-tile roofs and colourfully painted beams. Confucius Family Graveyard is the most extensive and oldest man-made forest park in East China.
Confucius Family Mansion 孔府
To the east of the temple is the Confucius Family Mansion where Confucius’ direct descendants lived. Clusters of buildings are arranged around nine courtyards, all good examples of traditional Chinese architecture. The Great Hall of the Mansion is refurbished as it was. A large chair is upholstered in tiger skin. A red-lacquered desk has on it official seals, writing brushes, and the insignia, arrows and bamboo slips that served as warrants for arrest and interrogation. The authority these betokened may be imagined. The other buildings were formerly used either to entertain honoured guests, local officials and the gentry or to lodge guards and servants of the Confucius family. At one time the Family owned 64,000 hectares (158.144 acres) of land in five provinces and received land rents in grain of more than 40,000 tons annually. The family’s residential quarters are furnished with a stunning display of gold, silver and copper vessels, and embellished with jade ware, ivory costume embroideries, silks and satins.
Confucius Temple 孔庙
Construction of the temple started in 478 BC, the year after Confucius’ death. It was rebuilt and enlarged many times during the past 2,400-odd years. The temple grounds encompass 21.8 hectares (54 acres) with buildings (nine courtyards one after the other) laid out symmetrically along a one-odd-kilometer north-south axis. There are 53 magnificent gateways and 466 halls, pavilions and shrines elaborately roofed with glazed tiles.
The Great Pavilion of the Constellation of Scholars奎文阁, first built in 1018, and restored in 1191 and got its present name, is one of the major halls. It is an elegant wooden structure with three tiers of yellow glazed-tiled roofs. Another is the Hall of Great Accomplishment 大成殿 with double-tier roofs. Ten massive marble columns support the lower roof at the front, each hewn from a single piece. Magnificent and vivid dragons twist round the columns in bas-relief. The temple houses an impressive collection of steles and other stone inscriptions. Steles alone in the region of Qufu total 2,100, all of Great artistic and historical value. Outstanding also are the hundred bas-relief carvings exhumed from tombs of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). These depict the life, customs and beliefs prevalent in China more than 2,000 years ago. One shows the celebrated doctor of the Warring States period (475-221 BC) Bian Que 扁鹊 treating a patient with acupuncture. A queue of four waits for their turn.
More About The Shandong Province
- Liugong Island
Weihai has three county-level cities: Rongcheng, Wendeng and Rushan.
- Mount Tai
and the Temple.
- Qingdao Introduction
Known as a pearl on the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is surrounded on three sides by water, with Laoshan Mountain as a backdrop.
- Qufu Introduction
Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius.
- Jinan Introduction
Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, has long served as political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural, and educational center for the province.