Why we suggest this tour itinerary?
In this itinerary, tourist will visit 3 most important places for the oriental culture in China, Qufu - the hometown of Confucius (28 Sep 551 BC - 11 Apr 479 BC), Zoucheng - the home town of Mencius (372–289 BC, 2nd only to Confucius in the Confucian pantheon and gained the fame of being the "2nd Sacred Personage"), and Mt.Taishan (or translated as Mt. Tai). Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius and the very important center of Confucianism. It is also one of the most important origins of the oriental civilization in the world. The oldest and biggest Confucius Temple, Confucius later Generations Residence, Confucius and His Familys Cemetery are in the city and all of them are well preserved. Zoucheng, the birthplace and hometown of Mencius, is only 24 KM south of Qufu. He made major contributions to the development of Confucian thought, hence being the "2nd Sacred Personage". Unless you are on an extremely tight schedule, you should carve out one day to pay a visit to the Temple of Mencius, the Mencius Family Mansion and Mencius Tomb when you go to Qufu. Where else in the world do you have the opportunity to celebrate the lives and achievements of two giants of philosophy in one or two days? (Mt.Taishan, The Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1994.) In this tour, tourists can enjoy the splendid ancient Chinese building arts, feel the oriental cultural atmosphere and natural scenery, on the other hand.
And meanwhile, tourists can know more about the origin of ancient oriental culture - the Confucianism and the Taoism. Mt.Taishan is distinguished as the foremost of the "Five Holy Mountains" and "the First Mountain Under Heaven" in ancient China for its majesty and beauty, hence it symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs. It is one of the most important scared mountains in Taoism and Confucianism.
Main Tourist Attractions in the Itinerary:
Mencius Temple, Mencius Family Mansion, and Mencius and His Familys Cemetery.
Confucius Temple, Confucius later Generations Residence, and Confucius and His Familys Cemetery.
the Temple of the Sacred Mt. Taishan, get up to Mt. Taishan.
Experience in the Itinerary:
* Visit the oldest, biggest and most imposing Confucius Temple in the world to enjoy the amazing ancient Chinese wooden palace structures and surpassing exquisite stone carvings.
* To know more about Confucius and Confucianism.
* Visit the Tombs of Confucius, his son and grandson.
* Marvel at the magnificent Taoist building complex - the Temple of the Sacred Mt. Taishan (known as the Dai Temple) .
* Explore the majesty and beauty of holy Mt. Taishan.
More about Confucius:
Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The name "Confucius" is a Latinized form of the Mandarin Chinese "Kongfuzi" (meaning "Master Kong"). His birth name is Kong Qiu, and addressed respectfully as Kong Zi. He is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in shaping human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remains influential today.
Confucius was born near present-day Qufu. The area was notionally controlled by the kings of Zhou dynasty, but effectively independent under the local lords of Lu. His father Kong He (or Shuliang He) was an elderly commandant of the local Lu garrison. But he died when Confucius was 3 years old, and Confucius was raised by his mother in poverty. His mother would later die at less than 40 years of age. Confucius was educated at schools for commoners, where he studied and learned the Six Arts (Rites (礼), Music (乐), Archery (射), Charioteering (御), Calligraphy (书), Mathematics (数)).
Confucius was born into the class of shi (士), between the aristocracy and the common people. He is said to have worked in various government jobs during his early 20s, and as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses, using the proceeds to give his mother a proper burial. When his mother died, Confucius (aged 23) is said to have mourned for three years, as was the tradition.
He began a long journey around the principality states of north-east and central China including Wey, Song, Zheng, Cao, Chu, Qi, Chen, and Cai (and a failed attempt to go to Jin). At the courts of these states, he expounded his political beliefs but did not see them implemented.
Confucius returned home to his native Lu when he was 68, after he was invited to do so by Ji Kangzi, the chief minister of Lu. The Analects depict him spending his last years teaching 72 disciples and transmitting the old wisdom via a set of texts called the Five Classics.
Burdened by the loss of both his son and his favorite disciples, he died at the age of 72. He died from natural causes. Confucius was buried in Kong Family Cemetery next to the north of Qufu city. The original tomb erected there in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River had the shape of an axe. In addition, it has a raised brick platform at the front of the memorial for offerings such as sandalwood incense and fruit.
The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC). Following the victory of Han (202 BC–AD 220) over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confuciuss thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New Confucianism (Modern Neo-Confucianism).
Confuciuss principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself".
More about Confucius Temple:
Within two years after the death of Confucius (28Sep 551 BC - 11Apr 479 BC), his former house in Qufu was already consecrated as a temple by the Prince of Lu. The original three-room house of Confucius was removed from the temple complex during a rebuilding undertaken in 611 AD. After the devastation by fire in 1499, the temple was finally restored to its present scale.
The temple complex is the second largest historical building complex in China (after the Forbidden City), it covers an area of 16,000 square metres and has a total of 460 rooms. 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 Dacheng Hall (means Great Perfection Hall) is the architectural center of the present day complex. The hall covers an area of 54 by 34 m and stands slightly less than 32 m tall. It is supported by 28 richly decorated pillars, each 6 m high and 0.8 m in diameter and carved in one piece out of local rock. The 10 columns on the front side of the hall are decorated with coiled dragons. It is said that these columns were covered during visits by the emperor in order not to arouse his envy. Dacheng Hall served as the principal place for offering sacrifices to the memory of Confucius.
More about Confucius Temple at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Confucius,_Qufu
More about Qufu city at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qufu
More about Confucius Temple at UNESCO website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704
More about Cemetery of Confucius:
The Cemetery of Confucius lies to the north of the town of Qufu. The oldest graves found in this location date back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046 B.C.―771 B.C.). The original tomb erected here in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River had the shape of an axe. In addition, it had a brick platform for sacrifices. The present-day tomb is a cone-shaped hill. Tombs for the descendants of Confucius and additional stela to commemorate him were soon added around Confucius tomb.
Since Confucius descendants were conferred noble titles and were given imperial princesses as wives, many of the tombs in the cemetery show the status symbols of noblemen. Today, there are about 3,600 tombstones dating from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties still standing in the cemetery.
More than 10,000 mature trees give the cemetery a forest-like appearance. A road runs from the north gate of Qufu to the exterior gate of the cemetery in a straight line. It is 1266 m in length and lined by cypresses and pine trees.
More about the Cemetery of Confucius at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cemetery_of_Confucius
More about Mencius and His Mother
2nd only to Confucius in the Confucian pantheon and gained the fame of being the "2nd Sacred Personage", Mencius (372–289 BC), also known by his birth name Meng Ke, was born just around a hundred years after the Confucius death in the State of Zou under the State of Lu, now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng, Shandong Province, only 24 KM south of Qufu, Confuciuss birthplace.
He was an itinerant Chinese philosopher and sage, and one of the principal interpreters of Confucianism. He made major contributions to the development of Confucian thought. Most significantly, he argued that human nature is innately good.
Like Confucius, Mencius’s father died when he was very young and as a result he grew up poor. His redoubtable mother is venerated as a paragon of maternal virtue for moving house three times despite her great poverty so that her son could finally live by a school and learn from the teachers and students who attended it. Supposedly, he was a pupil of the student of Confuciuss grandson, Zisi.
Like Confucius, he travelled throughout the middle and east China for 20 years to offer advice to rulers with his theory of governing the state with Benevolence. During the Warring States period, Mencius served as an official and scholar at the Jixia Academy in the State of Qi from 319 to 312 BC. He expressed his filial devotion when he took three years leave of absence from his official duties for Qi to mourn his mothers death. Disappointed at his failure to effect changes in his contemporary world, he never traveled again when over sixty years old. He started his school again in his hometown and enrolled many disciples. He answered questions with disciples such as Wanzhang and Gongsun Chou, and compiled "Menzi" (Mencius). The book of "Menzi" contains around 35000 characters in a total of 7 articles. It describes the main speeches, activities and ideas of his life, rich and colorful, extensive and profound, and is a valuable spiritual wealth left to us.
Mencius died at 84 years old and was buried in the "Mencius Cemetery", which is located 12 km to the northeast of Zouchengs central urban area. A stele carried by a giant stone tortoise and crowned with dragons stands in front of his grave.
Menciuss mother is often held up as an exemplary female figure in Chinese culture. One of the most famous traditional Chinese four-character idioms is 孟母三迁 (literally: "Menciuss mother moves three times"); this saying refers to the story that Menciuss mother moved houses three times before finding a location that she felt was suitable for the childs upbringing. As an expression, the idiom refers to the importance of finding the proper environment for raising children.
Menciuss father died when Mencius was very young. His mother raised her son alone. They were very poor. At first they lived by a cemetery, where the mother found her son imitating the paid mourners in funeral processions. Therefore, the mother decided to move. The next house was near a market in the town. There the boy began to imitate the cries of merchants (merchants were despised in early China). So the mother moved to a house next to a school. Inspired by the scholars and students, Mencius began to study. His mother decided to remain, and Mencius became a scholar.
Another story further illustrates the emphasis that Menciuss mother placed on her sons education. As the story goes, once when Mencius was young, he was truant from school. His mother responded to his apparent disregard for his education by taking up a pair of scissors and cutting the cloth she had been weaving in front of him. This was intended to illustrate that one cannot stop a task midway, and her example inspired Mencius to diligence in his studies.
There is another legend about his mother and his wife, involving a time when his wife was at home alone and was discovered by Mencius not to be sitting properly. Mencius thought his wife had violated a rite, and demanded a divorce. His mother claimed that it was written in The Book of Rites that before a person entered a room, he should announce his imminent presence loudly to let others prepare for his arrival; as he had not done that in this case, the person who had violated the rite was Mencius himself. Eventually Mencius admitted his fault.
More about Mencius Temple and Mencius Family Mansion
The Mencius Temple, which is 317 meters long from south to north and 85 meters wide from east to west, covering an area of over 100 acres on the south side of Zoucheng city, has 5 courtyards and 64 halls and rooms. Its history dates back to the year 1037 in the Northern Song dynasty. The grand hall, Yasheng Hall (Yashen means the "2nd Sacred Personage") is used to sacrifice Mencius, which is seven rooms wide and has 26 octagonal columns built on drum-shaped base. In the temple 275 stone tablets and 101 stone figures from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AC) are preserved. It’s an absolute gem with its graceful halls and pavilions and ancient juniper and cypress trees standing amid its peaceful courtyards.
226 meters long from south to north and 99 meters wide from east to west, the Mencius Family Mansion, where his descendants lived, is adjacent to the temple, and has 116 halls and rooms. It was moved here and built in 1121, North Song dynasty. Centered by the main hall, Mencius Family Mansion was formerly the official office and residence of hereditary Dr. Five Classics in Hanlin Academy (the supreme academic institution in ancient China). It is one of the large-scale, well-preserved and typical ancient buildings and feudal landlord manor in China. After the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, Mencius Family Mansion became a place for collecting and exhibiting a large number of unearthed cultural relics and relics left in the Mencius Family Mansion.
More about Mt.Taishan:
Mt. Taishan is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city Taian. The tallest peak is Jade Emperor Peak, which is commonly reported at the height of1545 meters - the highest peak in the east China. It is a challenging to climb up to the Mt. Taishan for more than 1,605 steps. But you can also choose taking the vehicle to the higher point. Then taking the cable car to the peak.
It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five holy mountains in China. Mt. Taishan has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centers of China during large portions of this period.
The Temple of the God of Mt. Taishan, known as the Dai Temple, is the largest and most complete ancient building complex in this area. It is located at the foot of Mt. Taishan and covers an area of 96,000 square meters. The temple was first built during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). Since Han Dynasty (206 B.C – 220 AD), its design has been a replica of the imperial palace, which makes it one out of three extant structures in China with the features of an imperial palace (the other two are the Forbidden City and the Confucius Temple in Qufu).
Note: On the top of Mt. Taishan, the average temperature will be much lower than other places, please bring some warm clothes in case.
More about Mt.Taishan at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tai
More about Mt.Taishan at UNESCO website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/437