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Taiyuan Chongshan Temple

Taiyuan Chongshan Temple Travel Guide

Chongshan Temple (Chongshan si, Temple for Appreciating Kindliness) was originally built in the last years of the Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD). When first built, the complex was a sojourning palace for the then emperor when he visited the area.

It was not until the year 1381 AD that the complex became a monastery, after a large scale expansion in commemoration of the recently deceased Ming Dynasty┬┤s (1368-1644 AD) first empress. Unfortunately a fire in 1864 brought almost all of the buildings down in ashes.

Today, the remains of the once large complex include the main gate, a bell tower, the main hall (Dabei dian) and two side rooms, all of which take on a typical Ming Dynasty architectural look.

On approach visitors to the temple are confronted by a pair of iron sentry lions that squat solemnly in front of the gate. The best of the halls here is the main hall, that houses three Buddhas. The largest of these, the central Buddha, is a statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, who has a representational 1,000 hands and eyes and who stands at 8.5 m tall.

The monastery also boasts a rare collection of sutras written in the Song (960-1279 AD), Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD),Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD).

DCT Tips:

The temple lies just to the back of the Provincial Museum. You could visit the two spots in the same day.

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