Cemetery of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong
Cemetery of Confucius, also named “Zhishenglin”, lies to the north of the town of Qufu. The original tomb erected here in memory of Confucius on the bank of the Sishui River with the shape of an axe. Tombs of the descendants of Confucius and additional stela to commemorate him were soon added around Confucius’s tomb. Since Confucius’s descendants were conferred noble titles and were given imperial princesses as wives, many of the bombs in the cemetery show the status symbols of noblemen.
The cemetery takes up 1.98 million square meters and around it there is a seven-kilometer-long hedge. The pavilions, towers, halls and archways built in various historical periods are set in a forest. The tomb boats some 20,000 trees such as cypresses, Chinese junipers, elms, Chinese scholar trees, etc and occupies some 200 hectares of land. Many of the trees date back to the Song Dynasty. Planting an exotic tree at the site has historically been viewed as an act of veneration; There are thought to be about 100,000 varieties of trees on the premises now, and in many ways the compound is in fact a forest: worshippers share the facility with tourists having picnics and with wild animals now resident in the cemetery.
The Cemetery of Confucius provides some relief from the crowded life of China. It is too big to explore meaningfully on foot and you could rent a bicycle just inside the cemetery’s entrance.
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