Qu Fu

Qufu is the hometown of one of China’s most famous historical figures – Confucius. The legendary poet, teacher, philosopher, and politician grew up here, and his influence is clear everywhere you look.
As the birthplace of China’s most revered sage, the city of Qufu occupies a
hallowed place in the minds of not only the Chinese, but also the legions of Japanese and Koreans who come here on pilgrimage. Every September this small city comes alive during the annual festival that celebrates Confucius’s birthday. Although Confucius lived in relative obscurity, his descendents dwelt in the grand Confucius Mansion (Kong Fu) in the heart of the town and hundreds of his descendent still reside within Qufu.
Wielding immense political authority and wealth, the Kong family – referred to by the Chinese as the “First Family Under Heaven” – built a palatial mansion occupying over 40 acres, now known as the CONFUCIUS MANSION. Arranged in a traditional north-south axis, the mansion is divided into residential and administrative quarters, with a beautiful temple in the east and a lush garden at the rear. Most of the halls of the mansion date from the Ming dynasty.
The Gate of Double Glory in the north was used for the emperor’s visits, while to the east stands the Tower of Refuge, where the family assembled in times of strife.
Next to the mansion, the CONFUCIUS TEMPLE (Kong Miao) is a lengthy complex of memorial gateways, courtyards, halls, stelae pavilions, minor temples, beautiful gnarled cypresses, and ancestral shrines.
Originally a simple shrine in 478 BC, the year after Confucius’s death, the temple grew gradually over the centuries before suddenly expanding during the Ming and the Qing eras.
Beyond the entrance stand 198 (stone) stelae, listing the names of as many as 50,000 successful candidates in the imperial examinations, during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Some of these huge stelae are supported on the backs of mighty “Bixi”, primitive, turtle-like dragons.
A long succession of gateways leads to the 11th-century Kuiwen Pavilion, a triple-roofed building.
Confucius instructed his disciples from the Apricot Pavilion, accessed throught the Great Achievements Gate.
On top of a marble terrace with incredible columns, that are elaborately carved with dragons, the “Great Achievements Hall” (Dacheng Dian) forms the temple’s splendid nucleus.
Beyond, the Hall of the Sage’s Relics houses carved stone plates with scenes from Confucius’s life.
The teachings of Confucius (551-479 BC), China’s most renowned philosopher, profoundly influenced the culture of China as well as other nations, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. built upon the principle of virtue, in the hope that rulers would govern in a just manner. Confucianism is a “Code of Conduct” to live “this” life, and it has had a tremendous impact on how the Chinese live their lives. It has, and still has, a great influence in Chinese government, education, and attitudes toward correct personal behavior and the individual duties to society.