Kong Family Mansion
Qufu is legendary in China for being the birthplace of Confucius, the ancient sage and teacher whose impact continues to influence Chinese education, politics, and thought.
Confucius and his descendants once lived at the mazelike Kong Family Mansion, with the present complex built during the Ming dynasty and expanded during the Qing dynasty. The temple's ornate decorations and grand scale are not quite as dramatic in the mansion complex. The real charm of the mansion is in its beautifully decorated living quarters that offer a glimpse into the daily life of ancient Chinese aristocrats.
The southern part of the Kong Family Mansion is the administrative area. This is where guests were greeted and official business was conducted. Follow one of the three main paths that meander through various halls and work areas. Along the eastern path is a tower that served as a final place of refuge in case unruly peasants staged an uprising. The Kongs, being practical folk, also used it as the Kong family treasury.
The central area of the Kong Family Mansion is where the family once lived. While strolling through the narrow grey lanes, it's easy to imagine the voice of young Kongs reciting the words of their influential ancestor and the footsteps of hundreds of servants, who once served this privileged family, echoing off the walls.
The rearmost part of the Kong Family Mansion is a pleasant garden and pool, which must have inspired many descendants of the Sage while they contemplated his ancient wisdom.