Kong Family Mansion

Last updated by shyoto at 2014/5/4

Confucius’ Residence, also called "Mr. Yansheng’s Residence", was the living place for Confucius’ most closely descendents. After Confucius’ death, in order to consecrate him, his offspring mainly lived in the native place in Queli. Emperors in previous dynasties granted additional titles and territories to his descendents over and over again and also vouchsafed land for building mansions. During the second year of Emperor Zhihe of the North Song Dynasty (1055), Song Renzong granted the title "Mr. Yansheng" to Kong Zongyuan, the 46th generation of Confucius. In Hongwu 10th year (1377), Zhu Yuanzhang issued an imperial edict to bestow “Yansheng Gong” the right to set government office and also particularly ordered to rebuild the mansion in Confucius’ native place. In Qing Dynasty a large-scale of construction was done.

Now Confucius’ Residence covers a total area of 40 acres, with 463 halls and buildings in all which are also divided into three routes: in the east, Dongxue has Yiguan Hall, Mu’en Hall, family Kong’s temple, etc; Xixue has Hong’er Room, Zhongshu Hall, Anhuai Hall and Flower Hall in the west; the middle one is where the main construction of Confucius Mansion located and is divided into two parts. The one in the front is government office and the one behind is inner chamber. The garden is in the end. The inner chamber includes: Qiantang Building, Houtang Building, etc. It is where the family of Yansheng Gong lived and till now the luxury furnishings and daily necessities for Yansheng Gong in 60s and 70s as well as Kong Decheng (the 77th grandson of Confucius) in Taiwan are still available.

The main hall is Yansheng Gong’s tribunal and has Babaonuan cabinet, tiger-skinned chair, red table to hold documents of a case. On the table are the seal of power, authorized arrow (an arrow used as a token of authority), Jingtang block (a wooden block used by a magistrate to strike the table in calling for attention and order) and the four treasures of the study (i.e. writing brush, ink stick, ink slab, paper), with the honour guards in two sides, seeming very awe-inspiring. The house and furnishings of Kong Lingyi (the 72nd Yansheng Gong) are still completely preserved now.

In Confucius’ Residence there are a large number of collections of precious cultural relics and artworks, like the paintings of famous painters Zhou Zhimian, Gao Qipei and Zheng Banqiao; the calligraphic scripts of famous calligraphers Dong Qichang and Wen Zhengming; the engraving and printing treasures, books of good edition, as well as some exquisite handicrafts like jade carving, wooden carving, chinaware and bronze ware for visitors to appreciate. Among them, the most famous ones are "Ten Utensils of Shang and Zhou Dynaties", also called "Ten Offerings", which were originally bronze wares collected in the palace and were granted to Confucius' Residence by Qing Gaozong in Qianlong 36th year (1771).

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