ABOUT US
Qufu - Confucius' hometown
 
Situated in the southwest of Shandong Province, Qufu is one of the first of 24 famous historical and cultural cities announced by the State Council. It is 160 kilometers (about 99 miles) from the capital of Shandong Jinan and 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Jining City, Shandong.

Qufu is the legendary birthplace of Confucius, serving as the capital of the State of Lu during the spring and Autumn Period. The major cultural sites in the city are all associated with Confucius. Three sites, the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion, have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1994. Qufu also played a minor role in the Yanzhou Campaign of the Chinese Communists in 1948. Most tourists go there in order to see the places where Confucius lived, studied and was buried.
 
Confucius temple complex is the second largest historical building complex in China (after the Forbidden City), it covers an area of 16,000 square metres and has a total of 460 rooms. The main part of the temple consists of 9 courtyards arranged on a central axis, which is oriented in the north-south direction and is 1.3 km in length. 
 
The Cemetery of Confucius lies to the north of the town of Qufu. The oldest graves found in this location date back to the Zhou Dynasty. The original tomb erected here in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River had the shape of an axe. In addition, it had a brick platform for sacrifices. The present-day tomb is a cone-shaped hill. Tombs for the descendants of Confucius and additional stela to commemorate him were soon added around Confucius' tomb.
 
The direct descendants of Confucius lived in the Kong family Mansion located to the east of the temple. They were in charge of tending to the temple and cemetery. In particular, they were in charge of conducting elaborate religious ceremonies on occasions such as plantings, harvests, honoring the dead, and birthdays. The Kong family was in control of the largest private rural estate in China. 
 
Mountain Tai
  The sacred Mount Tai ('shan' means 'mountain') was the object of an  imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs.Mount Taishan is the most famous sacred mountain of China, with exceptional historic, cultural, aesthetic and scientific value.  Settled by humans as early as the Neolithic (a Dawenkou site is nearby), the mountain has been worshipped continuously throughout the last three millennia.  A large and impressive rock mass covering 25,000 ha and rising to 1,545 m above the surrounding plateau, Mount Taishan is considered one of the most beautiful scenic spots in China and was an important cradle of oriental East Asian culture since the earliest times. The mountain was an important object of the cult worship of mountains even before 219 BCE, when the Qin Emperor, Huang Di, paid tribute to the mountain in the Fengshan sacrifices to inform the gods of his success in unifying all of China.
 On the mountain there are 12 historically recorded imperial ceremonies in homage to Heaven and Earth, about 1,800 stone tablets and inscriptions, and 22 temples, which together make Mount Taishan the most important monument in China, a world-renowned treasure house of history and culture.

 

The key monument, the Temple to the God of Taishan, contains the Taoist masterpiece painting of 1,009 CE “The God of Taishan Making a Journey”. Inscriptions include the Han Dynasty stelae of Zhang Qian, Heng Fang and Madam Jin Sun; the Valley of Inscribed Buddhist Scriptures inscribed in the Northern Qi Dynasty; the Eulogium on Taishan by Tang Xuanzong, and the Parallel Stelae of the Tang Dynasty. There is also a number of ancient and significant trees, including six cypresses of the Han Dynasty planted 2,100 years ago; Sophora japonica of the Tang Dynasty planted 1,300 years ago, and the Guest-Greeting Pine and the Five-Bureaucrat Pine, both of which were planted some 500 years ago.  All the architectural elements, paintings, in situ sculptures, stone inscriptions and ancient trees are integrated into the landscape of Mount Taishan.