"Confucius Temple - Part 1" Top 5 Page for this destination Qufu Travelogue by Willettsworld

Qufu Travel Guide: 53 reviews and 318 photos

There has been a temple dedicated to Confucius on this site since two years after his death in 479 BC. In fact his former house in Qufu was already consecrated as a temple by the Prince of Lu. 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.

The original three-room house of Confucius was removed from the temple complex during a rebuilding undertaken in 611 AD. In 1012 and in 1094, during the Song Dynasty, the temple was extended into a design with three sections and four courtyards, around which eventually more than 400 rooms were arranged. Fire and vandalism destroyed the temple in 1214, during the Jin Dynasty. It was restored to its former extent by the year 1302 during the Yuan Dynasty. Shortly thereafter, in 1331, the temple was framed in an enclosure wall.

The temple complex is the second largest historical building complex in China (after the Forbidden City), and covers an area of 16,000 square metres and has a total of 460 rooms. Because the last major redesign following the fire in 1499 took place shortly after the building of the Forbidden City in the Ming Dynasty, the architecture of the Temple of Confucius resembles that of the Forbidden City in many ways. 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 main hall, known as the Dacheng Hall (Great Perfection Hall) is a wonderful example of architecture. In front of it stands the Xingtan Pavilion which is where Confucius lectured to his disciples. As the temple complex is so huge, make sure you have plenty of time to take everything in.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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