Qufu, hometown of the great thinker and educator Confucius, is listed in the first group of national famous cities of historical and cultural relics designated by the State Council. The first Chinese general history book Shiji (History) gives that it is the hometown of Shen Nong (God of agriculture), Huang Di, Shao Hao and Mencius, and has been the site for ancient states and capitals like the Shang dynasty, the Yin State, the Lu State, etc. In the city, there are now 112 key historic relics under protection, among which four sites are of national level, twelve are of provincial level. The Confucian Temple, the Confucian Mansion and the Confucian Cemetery were ranked as one of the world cultural heritage in 1994.
The Confucian Temple, also known as the Most Sage Temple, was the place for ancient emperors to offer sacrificial sercives to Confucius. Located in the center of Qufu City, the Confucian Temple, an oriental style complex with a long history, is known as the “only case” in the history of the world architecture, and is considered one of the three most famous traditional architectural complexes in China, the other two being the Forbidden City in Beijing, Summer Hill Station of Chengde. It entered the list of the first group of national level key historic relics, and was ranked as a world cultural heritage. The second year after Confucius’death, Aigong, Duke of the state of Lu ordered to turn the former residence of Confucius into a memorial hall to offer sacrificial services every year. It used to have only 3 rooms, in which the utensils, such as clothes, hats, the chime stone, the carriage and books once used by Confucius were preserved. To consolidate their ruling positions, rulers of the successive dynasties showed great respect for Confucius and made a point of rebuilding the temple. The expansion of it started from Sui Dynasty, and in Tang Dynasty, it had 30 halls and chambers. The present size of the temple was established after many rebuildings and expansions in the Hongzhi Period in Ming Dynasty. With a span of 1 kilometers from the south to the north, the temple covers an area of 21.8 hektares. Being an imitation of the imperial palace in its architecture, the temple has 9 courtyards opening off off one another made up of 104 buildings, 446 rooms, and 1250 ancient trees. The halls and other buildings in the temple looks resplendent, magnificent and imposing. Having over 2,000 carved relics in the temple, it is one of the largest collections in the country.
Located in the center of Qufu, next to the Confucian Temple, the Confucian Mansion (also known as the Mansion of Duke of Yansheng) was the residence for Confucian descendants, the largest and grandest feudal noble mansion preserved to this day in China. The mansion arranged in three parts has 9 courtyards opening off one another and 463 halls, towers, and verandas, and covers a total area of 16 hectares. In the front part of it lie the official buildings, the middle part the residence, and the back the garden. After the death of Confucius, his decedents have always been living next to the Confucius Temple. An official building was established in Song Dynasty, and in Ming Dynasty, the Mansion of Duke of Yansheng was built. After many times of rebuilding and expansion, it has turned into a typical feudal noble mansion combining official buildings with a residence.
Located in the north of Qufu, the Confucian Cemetery (also known as the Cemetery of the Most Sage Master), is the graveyard for Confucius and his posterity. In the cemetery are clusters of tombs-over 100 thousand tombs since the Zhou Dynasty, groups of tombs of the descendants of the sage and forests of steles, and 400 tombstones. The Confucian Cemetery is also a botanical garden, as there are over 42,000 trees in it, and the planting of trees in it started 2,400 years ago. After Confucius death in 479BC, most of his descendants and clansmen were buried in the cemetery, so it has been expanding ever since. It covered an area of 1,800 mu in late Ming Dynasty and 2941.9 mu in the 23rd year of Kangxi Period in Qing Dynasty. At present, the wall boarders the cemetery extends about 5591 meters, and the cemetery itself covers an area of 183.33 hectares.
It takes roughly a day to visit the three major spots in Qufu. After their arrival, the tourists can visit Confucian Temple first (which takes two and a half hours), then Confucian Mansion (two hours). Getting out of Confucian Mansion, they can take a traditional-styled carriage and visit Confucian Cemetery (three hours). They can also visit Yanhui’s Temple and the Arch of Longevity on the way to the cemetery.
The major annual touring activities in Qufu include: International Festival of Confucian Culture, Study Tour to Confucius’ Homeland, Touring around the States in Confucius’ Route, Calligraphy Exhibitions, etc. The international Festival of Confucian Culture is held from September 26th to October 10th each year, during which a grand opening ceremony and ancient sacrificial dances and musical performances will be put on.
The climate of Qufu is temperate, continental and seasonal, which has a clear distinction between the seasons. In spring, it is dry and windy; in summer hot and rainy; in autumn mild and cool; in winter cold and dry. Its average annual temperature is 13.6oC; the lowest ¡§C18.1oC; the annual rainfall 666.3mm. Qufu’s elevation is 60.1 meters.
First Aid Telephone Number: 120;
Traffic Aid: 122;
Telephone number to request: 0537-4414002
The best season to visit Qufu is from April to November.
The major sight spots neighbouring Qufu are Mount Tai, Baotu Spring and Daming Lake in Jinan, Liangshan Mountain, Mencius’ Homeland-Zoucheng City, etc. Many buses go forth and fro between Qufu and those places.
Transportation in Qufu is very convenient. Air passengers can take off the plane at Jinan or Xuzhou, and then take long distance buses to Qufu; Train passengers can change their trains at Yanzhou, arrive in Qufu in 15 minutes. In Qufu, tourists can take taxies, traditional-styled carriages, tricycles, buses to go around. The prices for these means of transportation are inexpensive.
1.The major souvenirs tourists can buy in Qufu include Wooden Carvings (Confucius’ Statue, Ruyi, Walking Stick, etc.), Inkstone made of stones from Nishan Moutain, Sesame Oil of Confucian Style, Sesame Food of Confucian Style, Liqor of Confucian Mansion, Qufu Beer, Fragrant Rice, etc. There are store selling those products all around Qufu, including the appointed ones. The prices are favourable.
2.The major hotels in Qufu include: Queli Hotel (3 star), Xingtan Hotel (2 star), Tourism Hotel (2 star), Qufu Hotel (2 Star), Kongfu (Confucian Mansion) Hotel, Mengfu (Mencius’) Mansion Hotel and Qufu Restaurant, etc. The local special dishes include Kongfu-(Confucian Mansion)styled Banquet (including different arrangements for family reunion, wedding, and birthday banquets), and smoked Doufu (bean curd), Konfu (Confucian Mansion) battercake are the main typical local snacks.