The Confucian temples in Qufu county of Shandong province.The classic Chinese ancient buildings
Mythological roof figures at the Confucius Temple in Qufu
Weishan Lake, Jining City, Shandong Province, China, the beautiful scenery of spring
A dragon tablet at the Confucius Temple in Qufu China.
- Located south of Jinan and northeast of Jining, Qufu is a city found in the Shangdong Province near the eastern coast of China. Known for being the hometown of Confucius, who was believed to be born nearby at Mount Ni, Qufu is a city full to the brim with historical landmarks and monuments ranging from temples to cemeteries. Even still, Qufu has more to offer than just the past, and should not be missed in your travels. Qufu is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of three sites directly related to the history of Confucius in the city, collectively known in Qufu as San Kong, the first of these sites being The Temple of Confucius. Hailing as both the largest and the most renowned Temple of Confucius in east Asia, it covers a span of 16,000 square metres with a grand total of 460 rooms. The roofing of the buildings in the complex is made up of yellow tiles, something normally reserved for emperors, and the red walls and green pine trees found throughout the property create a beautiful contrast to be looked upon. The architectural center of the complex in present day, Dacheng Hall, is supported by breathtaking pillars, some of which are even decorated by winding dragons. It was even rumored that when the emperor visited they had to be covered so he would be envious!
- The Cemetery of Confucius is the second site of the group, where Confucius himself is buried along with some of his disciples and many of his descendants. Located about 2 kilometers north of the temple, the cemetery has undergone 13 renovations and extensions. Though it suffered major damage in 1966 during the cultural revolution, the Cemetery of Confucius is still one of the best sights to see on any visit to Qufu. Many of the tombs in the cemetery show the status symbols of noblemen, as the descendants of Confucius were conferred noble titles and some even given imperial princesses as wives. There are over 3,000 stone tablets with most of them being tombstones that date from China’s imperial period that still stand in the cemetery.
- The third and final site that make up San Kong is the Kong Family Mansion. This was the historical residence of Confucius’ direct descendants; from here, the Kong family tended to the sites of Confucius in Qufu. Today it houses a museum. A traditional Chinese layout make up the mansion, and contains a garden located in the back as well as eastern and western study. Currently, it consists of 152 buildings and 480 rooms. It even has an archive with about 60,000 documents that pertain to the life of the mansion, spanning over a time frame of 400 years! The Temple of Yan Hui is another cultural site located in Qufu that should not be missed during your vacation. Dedicated to Yan Hui, the favorite disciple of Confucius, it houses 148 sculptural and architectural objects ranging from pillars and gates, to steles. It is also home to 369 old, and valuable, trees.
- If you are looking to get a little closer to nature, be sure to take a hike though the area of Mount Ni. Not only is it regarded as the birthplace of Confucius, but it is also the site of a temple dedicated to the father of Confucius Kong He. The hill is located roughly 19 miles outside of the city, and its highest point of elevation sits at 1,120 ft. The Kong He Temple found on Mount Ni contains three sets of buildings, including The Confucian Academy which contains lecture halls and rooms used by the management staff of the temple. The complex is walled in, and outside of this wall you can see the Confucius Cave, where it was believed Confucius was abandoned after birth, and then taken care of by a tiger and an eagle. If you seek something both educational and beautiful, spend an afternoon at the Museum of the Chinese Han Dynasty Inscriptions. Here you can view artifacts and relics of the past, including stone inscriptions and works of art. They even offer presentations that everyone in your party can enjoy. Weishan Lake, also known by the name Nansi Lake, is the largest freshwater lake in the north of the country, and is a peaceful place to spend an afternoon on your Qufu getaway. It is compromised of four different lakes: Weishan, Zhaoyang, Nanyang, and Dushan.
- Qufu has more to offer than just culture to visitors and residents alike. Spend a day perusing the shops found at the Parkson Shopping area. Antique shops with distinguished pieces and calligraphy shops that showcase the precise skill can be found here, as well as Hualian Department Store, the main shopping center of the area. Queli Pedestrian Street is another well known shopping area located in Qufu. Here, you will find more souvenir based items: crafts made from azure stone, figures and books of Confucius, and woodcarvings are just a few of these items. Be sure to bargain, as this is the street for those practices! Make sure to check out the local restaurants to get an authentic taste of Qufu. Qui Li Bin She is a local establishment definitely worth stopping for a meal in. Serving up the traditional cuisine of Confucius and his family, you will not be disappointed. Try the tofu stir-fry. Lao Zi Wei is another great dining option in Qufu. A family owned restaurant located near most of the cultural sites of Qufu, they offer varied options, and even give you the option to pick and choose your own ingredients if none of the menu items suit your fancy!
As Confucius said, “Wherever you go, go with your heart” so take your heart on a vacation in Qufu with ChinaTour!