Confucius (551-479B.C.), whose actual name was Kong Qiu and courtesy name was Zhongni, born in a city of the State of Lu (present-day Qufu, Shandong Province) during the late Spring and Autumn Period, was a great thinker, educator, and statesman as well as the founder of a school of moral doctrine, known today as Confucianism. The Temple of Confucius, in Qufu City, Shandong, was built in 478 B.C. on the site of the former residence of Confucius. It was where emperors of the past dynasties worshipped the great sage.
Covering an area of nearly 10 hectares, the palatial complex houses 620 halls, pavilions, and other rooms laid out in a precise pattern in eight rows of courtyards. The Hall of Great Accomplishment, the major structure of the temple, enshrines a statue of Confucius. In front of the hall is a pavilion known as "Apricot Altar," where it is said that Confucius delivered lectures to his disciples. A typical example of Chinese ancient memorial buildings, the temple occupies an important position in Chinese history of architecture and aesthetics.