The Kong Family Mansion, also called the Holly Mansion, was where the descendants of Confucius lived. In Chinese history, Confucius' descendants were called " Yanshenggong".
The descendants of Confucius strictly maintained their family rules and rituals, and the buildings of the mansion were designed with the rules and rituals of the Confucian patriarchal system and ethics in mind. The Kong Family Mansion was designed exactly in the Chinese tradition of "the hall in the front, the living room in the back". The front hall was divided into three individual spaces: "Guanya" – the place for work, "Dongxue" – the place for reception and "Xixue" – the place for entertainment. The living rooms were designed for daily living.
The Kong Family Mansion is a massive structure, almost as large as the mansions of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty (1364-1683) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
In the beginning, the Mansion included more than 170 buildings with more than 560 rooms. Now, the Mansion has 152 buildings with 480 rooms, as some of the original buildings were damaged or destroyed throughout history. Some of these buildings were established during the Ming Dynasty, and most were built during the Qing Dynasty. The total area of the preserved Kong Family Mansion is as more than 12,740 square meters.
Numerous precious historical relics are preserved in the Kong Family Mansion, including calligraphies of emperors, royal poetry, books and royal instruments. Almost everything bestowed to Confucius and his descendants by emperors of past dynasties to show their honor to them is preserved here. Confucius' descendants got into the habit of collecting these ancient relics to enrich their collection.
Until now, the Kong Family Mansion maintains its original furnishings from the late Qing Dynasty and the early days of the Republic of China, 1912-1949.