Once the residence of Confucius, the Temple of Confucius became the place for emperors to pay their respects and offer sacrificial services. It is estimated to have been built in 478BC, one year after the death of Confucius.
In subsequent dynasties, the temple was rebuilt and expanded several times. The present one was renovated during the Ming Dynasty and patterned after the Royal Palace.
As one of the three largest ancient architectural complexes in China, the Temple of Confucius boasts an array of cultural relics, including 2,100 pieces of steles, fine calligraphy and stone sculptures.
East to the Temple of Confucius stands the Confucius Family Mansion. This was where the first son and first grandson of Confucius lived.
Spanning 39 acres, the mansion houses 463 buildings, including halls, pavilions and towers. Though not as spectacular as the Forbidden City, the mansion showcases luxurious furnishings, exquisite decorations and precious cultural relics.
At 1.5 kilometres north of Qufu lies the graveyard of Confucius and his descendants. Believed to have existed for over 2,340 years, the cemetery has expanded from 6.67 hectares to over 200 hectares.
The walls around the cemetery enclose more than 10,000 tombs and more than 42,000 trees. Also within the cemetery are stone structures and steles inscribed with writings of notable individuals.
Dedicated to the famous thinker and educator, the Temple of Mencius is located in South Qufu, in the township of Zoucheng County.
Originally built beside his tomb in the Northern Song Dynasty, the temple was relocated to its present site during the Ming Dynasty. The expanded and refurbished complex now houses five courtyards with 64 halls, four wooden houses and one stone house.