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Confucius Temple


Confucius Temple


Confucius TempleQufu, Shandong Province, is the hometown of Confucius (551-479 BC), a great thinker, statesman and educator in
China‘s history, and founder of the Confucian school of philosophy. The place abounds in cultural relics, of which the
most famous are the Confucian Temple, Confucian Cemetery and Confucian Family Mansion.

There are many Confucius temples in China, but the largest and most important one is the Confucius Temple
located at Qufu, the hometown of Confucius. The temple has been the holy place for offering sacrifices to Confucius
over the last 2,500 years.

In 205 BC, Emperor Gao of the Han Dynasty was the first emperor to offer sacrifices to the memory of Confucius in
Qufu. He set an example for many emperors and high officials to follow. Later, emperors would visit Qufu after their
enthronement or on important occasions such as a successful war. In total, 12 different emperors paid 20 personal
visits to Qufu to worship Confucius.


The Confucius temple complex was built in 478 BC, only one year after the death of the philosopher. The temple
stands on the site of the house where Confucius was born. In the course of centuries the building has been repeatedly damaged, restored over 60
times and extended. The alterations finally ceased in the 18th C, and since then the building has remained unchanged. In 1994, UNESCO
included the Confucius Temple in its list of World Heritage Sites.

In the front, there are Ling Star Gate, Shengshi Gate, Hongdao Gate, Dazhong Gate, Tongwen Gate, Kuiwen Pavilion, Thirteen Imperial Stele
Pavilions. From Dasheng Gate, the complex is divided into three lines: the central line includes Dacheng Gate, Apricot Altar, Dacheng Palace, Qin
Palace, Shengji Palace and two side-rooms, which are used for offering sacrifices to Confucius and other Confucians.

Confucius TempleThe 1km long and over 200m wide temple grounds, surrounded by cypress trees, incorporate nine
courtyards lined by groups of 466 buildings of various designs. Together with the Imperial Palace in
Beijing and the Summer Resort in Chengde, the temple is one of the three outstanding creations of
ancient Chinese architecture.

 
 


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