The Confucius Temple, the Confucius Seat of Household, and the Confucius Graveyard in Qufu, Shandong

The Confucius Temple, the Confucius Seat of Household, and the Confucius Graveyard are located in the city of Qufu, Shandong Province, looming as symbols for remembering the master and advancing Confucian thoughts. They are noted for the splendid culture, time-honored history, grand scale, abundant relics as well as invaluable assets in science and art. The Confucius Temple in Qufu is the one for worshipping the master Confucius, the original and model for the 2,000 Confucius temples in countries like China, Korea, Japan, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Singapore and America. It was first built in 478 B. C. and never abandoned for offering sacrifice over 2,400 years. It is the temple of the longest duration in use in China and one of the most renowned ancient architecture complex now existent in China; the Confucius Graveyard has been in use for over 2,400 years, becoming the most time-honored tribal burying-ground both at home and abroad; as the oldest family of nobility in China over 2,100 years, the Confucius Seat of Household is the largest, best-preserved and most typical construction complex of former government and residential seat now existent in China.
The value of the Confucius Temple, Confucius Graveyard and Confucius Seat of Household concerning history, science and art is best embodied by the related relics preserved. The 300 (1,300 units) ancient buildings of Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties reflect the standards and characteristics of the respective period; the 1,000 Han image stones, Confucius track diagrams, stone instruments, and dragon columns all reveal the changes and development of stone engraving art; the 5,000 tombstones of the dynasties since West Han are both artistic treasures of Chinese calligraphy and precious materials for studying politics, ideology, economy, culture and art of ancient China; the 100,000-odd tombs of various dynasties are evidence for studying the ancient funeral rites and the more than 17,000 ancient trees are live fossils for studying ancient phenology, meteorology and ecology. Among the 100,000 pieces of relics preserved in museums, the gowns and hats of Ming Dynasty, Portrait of Confucius, Image of Duke of Heritance and his wife and wares for sacrifice are most distinguished, with Gowns and Hats of Ming Dynasty being the rarest relics of China, which will be of great value for researching ancient garments and the weaving art. The 300,000 files of Ming and Qing dynasties of the Confucius Household are the most complete archives of households in China as well as important materials for studies in history of Ming and Qing, economic history in particular. The Three Confucius relics have already been listed in World Heritage Record by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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