WALK IN THE STEPS OF THE FAMOUS PHILOSOPHER
Confucius lived around 500BC and spent much of his life spreading his teachings in north and central China. Today the philosophy of Confucius, with its emphasis on study and personal understanding, is recognized across the globe.
The historic city of Qufu in Shandong province is the birthplace of Confucius and it contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites relating to the philosopher. The Temple of Confucius is located on the site of the philosopher’s former house and is considered to be the second largest historical building complex in China with nine courtyards and 460 rooms. The nearby Kong Family Mansion is where the direct descendants of Confucius lived until 1937 and is of a similar size to the Temple. The third important site is the Cemetery of Confucius. Set among trees to the north of the city you can discover the grave of the philosopher himself and also the graves of around 100,000 descendants who have been buried in this area over more than two millennia.
A short distance from Qufu is the sacred Mt. Tai (Taishan). Rising abruptly from the surrounding plain, the forested mountain has been a pilgrimage site for thousands of years. This important center for Buddhism and Taoism has many ancient temples and was visited by Confucius. The classic route up the mountain involves an ascent of over 6,000 steps to the summit; however the views can be equally enjoyed on a ride to the top by cableway.