Digging into the Soul of China – The Temple of Confucius (Kǒngmiào (孔庙))

Confucius (Born 551 BC) was an important thinker, teacher and politician that played a significant role in the foundation of Confucianism and Chinese value/ethics systems that many follow to this very modern day.   His work and those of his followers of the Kong clan have had a profound influence both in and outside of China.   The concept set forth in Li () which is about how we interact with nature, other people in our ethics and virtue has been cross pollinated in other cultures / religion / spiritual concepts.  “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”, honesty and respect of family are just a few examples of the original precedent set.  The discussion of Confucianism through history in it’s interaction with younger religions and political discourse is incredibly complex.   I was just happy to be in the town of Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius to continue my understanding of Chinese culture and history.  According to legend and some historians, he was technically born in a cave a few clicks down the road.

It is always important to start the day off with good Chinese grub.  This isn’t P.F. Changs, kids.  It’s real.  DSC03497

Getting off the express rail and into town after our hike to the top of Mount TaiShan was incredibly easy.  The nice folks at the Qufu International Youth Hostel had nice private room waiting for us.   I recommend this place.   You can read more about it on my Tripadvisor page if you are interested in taking the journey to Qufu.  Nice helpful folks.  Good bar.  Decent food.

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It’s a bit touristy with the horse drawn carriages.   I have rarely seen such things in China.  Reminded me of Charleston, South Carolina in a weird way.

DSC03505Where are we going Aimeerock?

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I really enjoyed the town of Qufu.  It had a laid back feel which is not found in many Chinese cities.   People were (generally) incredibly friendly and helpful.   Of course it is a tourist town and vendors are always angling for money, but it definitely had a good vibe.

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What do we do in China?   We eat and eat again!   Confucius said “you have to eat two meals before you explore my temples.”   Okay, maybe he didn’t.  Popular place.   The tour buses even haul them in.   This guy has it made in the shade. Chair, tea, and sleep.  That’s all you really need.

DSC03514Yummy for the tummy!

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This is the main entrance to the Confucius Temple.  Aimee plans our navigation strategy.

DSC03523DSC03526Who wants to go fishing? DSC03527I’m watching you watching me.   Not sure how Confucius would feel about this.   .

DSC03530The thing about these Chinese temples or most any ancient Chinese sites for that matter is that different rules through the centuries add on to them to make their own mark or steer the desired effect of their will.   Near the outside, we see a bridge that was built during the Ming Dynasty in 1538.  In Chinese history, that is relatively new.

DSC03533The kid in blue in the second photo was fascinated by me.  Many of these people visiting from other parts of China might not see a Westerner in person during much of their life.  I’m always happy to take photos with them and spread good will.    I’m even happier to go places where I can count on one hand the number of Westerners I see in a full day.

DSC03535DSC03537History! Good read in the photo.  Apologies for not getting a better shot. The right side may be tough for older viewers.

DSC03538Trees and more trees! As in most cities in China, they do a fine job of maintaining gardens and places of significant importance.   The parks are for the community to share.

DSC03541Is that a knot in your wood or are you just happy to see me?

DSC03564DSC03551The architecture, as it changes through centuries, is just fascinating to behold.

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The sculptures in the architecture are very detailed and represent various aspects of history or ideas.

DSC03575DSC03577DSC03576  More turtles!  It is a representation of longevity.

DSC03554At first I thought I was walking onto the production set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001.  So many monoliths!

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Who is the most important monolith of all?

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The Temple of Confucius is a fascinating place full of history and intrigue.  When visiting the Shandong Province, I highly recommend a trip here.   Like any place on the map, they want to see you something.  Right outside the temple, it is time for shopping…

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