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November 2017 (12-day China Immersion Beijing - Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze Three Gorges - Shanghai)

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  You are here: Home > China Tours > China Attraction Guide > Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion
Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family MansionThe temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th-5th centuries B.C., are located at Qufu, in Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 B.C., the temple has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries; today it comprises more than 100 buildings. The cemetery contains Confucius' tomb and the remains of more than 100,000 of his descendants. The small house of the Kong family developed into a gigantic aristocratic residence, of which 152 buildings remain. The Qufu complex of monuments has retained its outstanding artistic and historic character due to the devotion of successive Chinese emperors over more than 2,000 years.  -  cited from UNESCO.

Confucius Temple (Kong Miao), QufuConfucius Temple (Kong Miao), Qufu
The temple was first built in 478 BC as a simple memorial hall and mushroomed into a complex one-fifth the size of Qufu. During the past 2400-odd years, the temple was damaged and restored many times. It covers an area of 21.8 hectares (54 acres) with buildings (nine courtyards one after the other) laid out symmetrically along a one kilometer north-south axis. There are 53 magnificent gateways and 466 halls, pavilions and shrines elaborately roofed with glazed tiles. The temple houses an impressive collection of steles, with inscriptions from Han to Qing periods. Some bas-relief carvings from tombs of Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) depict the life, customs and beliefs prevalent in China more than 2000 years ago.
 
The Great Tower of Constellation of Scholars, first built in 1018, and rebuilt in 1191 and got its name, is one of the major structures. Another is the Hall of Great Accomplishment (Da Cheng Dian) 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.
 
Confucius Family Mansion (Kong Fu), QufuConfucius Family Mansion (Kong Fu), Qufu
Situated to the east of the Confucius Temple, Confucius Mansion is where the 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 refurnished as it was. A large chair is upholstered in tiger skin. A red-lacquered desk has on it official seals, writing brushes, and insignia, arrows and bamboo slips that served as warrants for arrest and interrogation. The authority there betokened may be imagined. The other buildings were formerly used either to entertain honored guests, local officials 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, silk and satins.
 
Confucius Cemetery (Kong Lin), QufuConfucius Cemetery (Kong Lin), Qufu
North of the Confucius Mansion, about 2km up Lindao Road, is the Confucius Family Cemetery (Kong-lin) - the largest artificial park and the best preserved cemetery in China. Also it is probably the longest - last family cemetery in the whole world. 
 
The tombs of Confucius and most of his descendants are located here. More than 7 kilometers in perimeter, the graveyard boasts the pine and cypress forest of over 22,000 ancient tree, which were planted by the Confucius's students and descendants, 40,000 plus of various types were added since 1949.
 
Flanking the approach to Confucian tumulus is a simple grass mound enclosed by a low wall, and faced with a Ming Dynasty stele. Nearby are buried his immediate sons. Scatted through the forest are dozens of temples and pavilions, and hundreds of sculptures, tablets and tombstones. Even today, descendants of Confucius can still be buried in the Confucian.

 

 

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