Notes from the field: Confucius Museum in Qufu

Confucius museum in Qufu

Having recently read about the opening of the new Confucius Museum in Qufu, I decided it would be worth having a look at it during this trip to China and so took a train here from Wuzhen this morning.

The museum is located about 5km south of the center of Qufu. A taxi there from the city center cost me 20RMB and took about 15 minutes. The building housing the museum looks stunning from the outside with its ultra-modern design. Its interior is also very attractive with a circular tower of books arranged in patterns forming the centerpiece.

Confucius museum ritual vessels

The highlight for me was the collection of beautiful bronze ritual vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The section portraying key moments in the life of Confucius was also extremely impressive, as was the one showing the core values and principles that Confucius promoted in his teachings. The only suggestion I would have is that the museum should translate all of its descriptions of the exhibits into English and other languages in order to make it easier for overseas visitors to understand what they are about.

Confucius museum in Qufu
Confucius meets Laozi

The Confucius Museum is free to enter, but you do need to bring your passport along with you to get in. While getting there from the center of Qufu is easy, returning to the city can be a pain unless you have a Didi account. Since there were no taxis around, I ended up deciding to walk back. Fortunately, I was picked up along the way by an LSEV (Low Speed Electric Vehicle) taxi, but that’s a story I’ll write about separately.

Confucius museum ritual vessel

The Confucius Museum is well worth visiting if you’re planning a trip to Qufu. It provides a very well curated picture of the life and teachings of the sage, including some excellent maps, illustrations, and interactive displays – not to mention those wonderful ancient bronzes.

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