Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin) in Qufu

Why is Cemetery of Confucius So Special?

 Confucian Cemetery has served as the family graveyard of Confucius and his descendants for more than two thousand years. So you may find the strong Confucianism atmosphere when you do sightseeing here. China uninterrupted continuity across generations is most simply and vividly represented in this cemetery of the country’s most revered thinker.

Where is Cemetery of Confucius

Located 1.5 kilometers north of Qufu City in Shandong Province, it is the family cemetery of Confucius and his descendants.

History of Cemetery of Confucius

In the Qin and Han dynasties, although tombs were built high, there were still only a small number of cemeteries and a few forest keepers. later, with the increasing status of Confucius, the size of the forest became larger and larger.

From Yuan Wenzong to Shun’s 2nd year (1331), Kong Sikai majored in forest wall and built the forest gate. In the 10th year of Ming Hongwu (1377), Kong Lin was expanded to 3000 mu.

In 1961, the State Council announced it as the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units. There are now more than 100,000 trees in Cemetery of Confucius.

About Confucius

Confucius (September 28, 551 – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period in ancient Chinese history. Confucius’ family and personal name respectively was Kong Qiu (孔丘in Chinese). His courtesy name was Zhongni (仲尼 in Chinese). In Chinese, he is most often known as Kongzi or Kong Fuzi.

Confucius’ philosophy emphasizes the morality of individual and government, the correctness of social relations, justice and sincerity. In the era of a hundred schools of thought contending, his followers successfully competed with many other schools, but were suppressed in the Qin Dynasty and supported Legalists. After the collapse of the Qin Dynasty, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty defeated Chu State. Confucius’ thought was officially recognized and further developed into a Confucian ideology. Confucius’ principles are based on China’s common traditions and beliefs. He regards family loyalty, wife’s respect for her husband, children’s respect for their elders and ancestor worship as his top priorities. He also suggested that the family should be the foundation of an ideal government. He regards the well-known principle “don’t do to others what you don’t want to do to yourself” as the golden rule of people’s behavior.

Layout of Cemetery of Confucius

At a location 1 km (0.62miles) north of Qufu, Shandong, one can visit this Cemetery where the family and descendants of Confucianism are buried. It has the longest line of descendants in the world. Record has it that this cemetery has already lasted 2340 years. At the time Confucius was buried there, the cemetery was about 1 qin ( 6.67hectares). It was continually expanded to over 3,000 mu (200 hectares) through constant l and grants by emperors of following dynasties. The walls here are 7 kilometers (4.35miles) long enclosing more than 10,000 tombs.

The sacred way that leads up to the cemetery is 1,266 meters (4,153 feet) and is lined with verdant pines and cedars. At the end of the road stands a wooden memorial archway – called the Most Sacred Cemetery (Zhi Sheng Lin), and is the gate to the Cemetery of Confucius.

The evolution of the Cemetery reflects the role of Confucianism through history. During his eventful life, the sage drifted from one place to another, The stone statues, sacred waytrying to persuade the authorities to adopt his philosophy, but with little success. It was during later dynasties that Confucianism gained popularity among the authorities. Therefore, before his tomb, a tombstone of the Master and the Most Sacred Wenxuan King was set up in 1443. To the east lies the tomb of his son, Kong Li, while to the south is the tomb of Kong Ji, his grandson. This configuration is called ‘holding the son and hugging the grandson’; considered an ideal family pattern in China.

Beside the tombs stand steles inscribed with handwritings of the notable people of the times, and vibrant stone sculptures. The Cemetery is renowned for its natural botanical areas, largely owing to more than 1,000 mature trees. It is said that after the sage’s death, disciples planted rare trees from all over China. Some of the trees are so rare that their proper names are yet unknown.

When you walk into the Cemetery and fully enjoy the treasures here, you will certainly be impressed by the role of the sage in Chinese culture. Together, the Confucian Temple, Confucian Family Mansion and Cemetery were made part of the world cultural heritage list in 1994.

Best Time to Visit

It is suitable for visiting all year around. The best time is in autumn, September and October, when the grand Confucius memorial ceremony will be held every year

How to Get There

You may take Bus Route 2, 3, 5 to孔府南门 to reach the place. Or you may take walk from Confucian Temple for about 3 kilometers to reach Confucian Cemetery. Taking local tricycle or taxi is also recommended.

Useful Travel Tips

mission Fee: Feb. 16 – Nov. 14: CNY 90;
CNY 140 for through ticket of the Temple, Confucius Family Mansion & Cemetery;
Nov. 15 – the next Feb. 15: CNY 80;
CNY 140 for through ticket;
Free for children under 1.4m (4.6 feet).
Opening Hours: 07:30 to 16:30
Recommended Time for a Visit: One and a half hours
Bus Route: 1, 3

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋