WORLD HERITAGE        
Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu
 
Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius (孔子, Kǒngzǐ, 551BC-479BC), the great philosopher, politician and educator. The Temple of Confucius, Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu, Shandong Province was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994. They are the major cultural attractions of Qufu.

Confucius's former house in Qufu was converted to a temple in 478 BC and was visited by 12 different emperors. After renovations and repairs, it became the second largest historical building complex in China (after the Forbidden City) with 460 rooms, covering 16,000 square metres. The main part of the temple consists of nine courtyards arranged on a central axis, with the first three serving an introductory function and the remaining forming the heart of the complex. Each year at Qufu and at many other Confucian temples a ceremony is held to commemorate Confucius' birthday.

The Cemetery of Confucius lies to the north of Qufu. The tombs of more than 100,000 descendants of Confucius, who have been buried for about 2000 years, can be found. The oldest graves date back to the Zhou Dynasty, the most recent of which belong to descendants in the 76th and 78th generation. There are about 3,600 tombstones dating from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties standing in the cemetery. More than 10,000 trees give the cemetery a forest-like appearance.

The descendants of Confucius lived in the Kong family mansion located to the east of the temple. The first mansion was built in 1038 during the Song Dynasty. Today, the mansion comprises 152 buildings with 480 rooms, covering 12,470 square meters. The layout of the mansion is traditionally Chinese, reflecting the Confucian principle of order and hierarchy. The most senior of Confucius lived in the center of the main buildings.
 
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