Comments of the World Heritage Committee
The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th-5th centuries BC, are located in Qufu, Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 BC, 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. Meanwhile, 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.
Located in Qufu City, Shandong Province, the temple and cemetery of Confucius (551-479 BC) and the Kong Family Mansion together form a huge architectural complex with some 1,000 rooms.
Confucius was a great philosopher, politician and educator of ancient China and remains a world-famous cultural figure. Confucianism exerted an enormous influence on the oriental psyche as well as the Enlightenment Movement of Europe.
The Kong Family Mansion was inhabited by Confucius and his lineal descendents. Its construction began in the Song and Jin dynasties (960-1234). The mansion was built on the present location in 1377 or the tenth year of the Hongwu reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). A typical feudal manor with 480-odd various halls and rooms, it is the largest mansion in China, only exceeded by the Ming and Qing imperial palaces. Over 60,000 articles and records of Ming and Qing dynasties are preserved here, forming a private archive with the most files and longest history in China.
The temple in the central downtown of Qufu City enshrines Confucius, leading the other 2,000 or so Confucian temples existing in Asia in terms of history, scale and structure. It was built on the site of Confucius’ former residence and features the typical oriental architectural style with magnificent and resplendent buildings of which there are over 100 containing 460-plus rooms. Of the total, the Hall of Great Accomplishment, the major hall, enshrines the statue of Confucius in its center. The 1,044 inscribed steles (149 BC-1949 AD) stored here are precious historical materials for studying the politics, economy, culture and art of the feudal society. There are also many carved stones, including the famous Han (206 BC-220 BC) stone reliefs, Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) carved stelae and Ming carved paintings of the Sage’s Traces.
Also known as the Sacrosanct Cemetery, the burial place of Confucius, lying in the northern downtown of Qufu, is also the final resting place of his descendents. It has been used for about 2,500 years, consisting of over 100,000 graves all together. Covering 2 million square meters, it is the largest family cemetery with the longest history in the world. Confucius’ own tomb lies in the center, with a sacred way some 1,266 meters long. The surrounding towering ancient trees form a natural arboretum.
Tourist Information Transport
The Beijing-Shanghai Railway and Nos. 327 and 104 National Highways run through Qufu City. The Kong Family Mansion and Temple of Confucius are only about 50 meters from the long-distance bus station. One can walk or take a taxi for 1,300 meters to the cemetery after first arriving at the Kong Family Mansion.
The catering culture of Qufu is closely bound up with Confucian culture. Confucian dishes were prepared for official occasions and thus feature a profound sense of history. The most famous examples include the Celestial Duck, the First-Grade Sea Pumpkin, the Ba’er Shark Fins, the Stewed Tortoise and the Hen, the Burning Charcol in Snow, the Eight Immortals Surrounding Arhat, the Kong Family’s Dried Meat, the Fried Diced Mandarin Fish, and the First-Grade Bean Curd. There are also various special local snacks such as the Smoked Beancurd and the Kong Family’s Cakes.
The three treasures of Qufu (fragrant rice, Guodanxing Apricots and mineral water) and five wonders of Shandong (Kongfujia Wine, S-Shaped Kaidiao Carvings, wool carpets, the walking stick with a dragon’s head and Nishanshi Inkslabs) are well-known and highly recommended as gifts or souvenirs.
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
Telephone of the Cemetery of Confucius: 0086-537-4712133