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Confucian Temple

Introducing Confucian Temple, Confucian Temple guide, Confucian Temple Muslim Travel Guide
Article from UNESCO & Ministry of Culture P.R. China

The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th–5th centuries B.C., are located at Qufu, in Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 B.C., the temple has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries; today it comprises more than 100 buildings.

The Confucian Temple is where Confucius, a famous thinker, educator and the founder of Confucian School in ancient China, is feted. There are many preserved Confucian temples of different dynasties all over China, among which the Qufu Confucian Temple is the largest and earliest one. The Confucian Temple, Confucian Mansion and Confucian Woods are called Three Confucians, which are now one of the four extant great architectural complexes in China.

Confucius (551-479BC), whose name is Qiu and courtesy name is Zhongni, lived in the Lu State of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476). One year after his death, Lu Ai King rebuilt his three old houses into a memorial temple and offered sacrifices to him in person. From then on, the temple was constantly extended every dynasty. By the 2nd year (1018) of the Tianyou reign of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), 360 halls, porches and side-rooms had been added to the temple, making it a vast architectural complex similar to an imperial palace in style. Emperors of different dynasties all held grand ceremonies to offer sacrifices to Confucius when they came to Qufu.

The Confucian Temple is rectangle in shape. Confucian Temple is 1120 meters long from south to north and occupies an area of 327.5 mu (15 mu is equal to 1 hectare). With an axis running through Confucian Temple, the architectural complex of Confucian Temple is symmetrical and compact in arrangement. 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; the eastern line consists of Chongsheng Gate, Poem and Etiquette Hall, Gu Well, Lu Wall, Chongsheng Memorial Temple and Family Temple, most of which are used for offering sacrifices to Confucius' last five generations of forebear; the western line consists of Qisheng Gate, Gold Silk Hall, Qisheng Palace and Qin Palace, which are used for offering sacrifices to Confucius' parents. There are 5 palaces, one memorial temple, one pavilion, one altar, two halls, seventeen stele pavilions and fifty-three lanes; 466 palaces and side-rooms in all. They were built in Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing dynasties and the Republic of China. The most famous architectures of Confucian Temple are: Ling Star Gate, the Second Gate, Apricot Altar, Dacheng Palace, Qin Palace, Shengji Hall and Poem and Etiquette Hall.

Ling Star Gate is the main gate of Confucian Temple. Ling Star is the star for talent in the heaven according to the ancient legend. The Second Gate is also called Shengshi Gate. With 3 gateways, it looks like a gate of a castle. On the front and back imperial roads, there are 2 Ming-Dynasty relief sculptures of 2 dragons playing with a pearl.Kuiwen Pavilion is located in the center of the Confucian Temple. It is a pavilion for storing books. Kui Star is one of the 28 lunar mansions in ancient China and betokens article. Kuiwen Pavilion was built in the 2nd year (1018) of the Tianyou reign of the Song Dynasty and was rebuilt in the 19th year (1483) of the Chenghua reign of the Ming Dynasty. It has 3 layers of upturned eaves and 4 layers of arch vaults, 7 face rooms and 5 inside rooms. It is 30 meters long, 17.62 meters wide and 23.25 meters high.Dacheng Palace is the main architecture of the Confucian Temple. It is 32 meters high, 54 meters long and 34 meters deep. It has 9 layers of eaves, yellow tiles, crossed arch vault, carved columns and winding corridors. The supporting eaves have 28 columns, which are 5.98 meters in height and 0.81 meter in diameter.

In addition, in the Confucian Temple there are also Qin Palace for offering sacrifices to Confucius' wife, Shengji Palace where the Shengji Painting is stored, Poem and Etiquette Hall where emperors learned poems and practiced etiquette, Gold Silk Hall where the Confucian clan have dinners, Chongsheng Hall where Confucius' last five generations of forebear are consecrated, Qisheng Palace for offering sacrifices to Confucius' father and Queli Lane which is Confucius' old house. These are all architectures with green tiles and upturned eaves.
Inside the Confucian Temple there are over 2,000 steles of different dynasties. The characters on them are in various styles, among which the stele inscriptions of the six dynasties from Han to Wei are most famous home and abroad.

Quick Facts on Confucian Temple 

• Name: Confucian Temple
• Location: 10km from Lijaing Old Town
• Best Time to Visit: September to November
• Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 Hours
• Opening Hours: 08:00 - 16:30
• Admission Fee: CNY 110

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