The capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing has been for more than eight centuries. Since the beginning of the XV century, the city began the active construction of temples and palaces. Many of these ancient structures have survived to this day and have become popular tourist sites.
The Temple of Heaven, personifying the unity of Earth and Heaven, is located in the south-east of the capital and remains one of the most visited places by tourists. In 2020, it will celebrate its 600th anniversary. It was built during the Ming Dynasty for the annual solemn prayer dedicated to the winter solstice. Thus, the emperor, as a messenger of heaven, maintained contact with the higher powers.
Tibetan Buddhist Temple Yonghegong in Beijing
Yonghegong is one of the largest Buddhist temples in China, located in the center of Beijing. Today it is a functioning monastery and temple of Tibetan Buddhist school.
The temple was erected in 1694 as the residence of the prince, in 1744 converted into a monastery, where Emperor Qianlong decided to settle 500 Lamaist monks. The building of the temple was painted in gold and red colors; its total area is 66 thousand sq. m. The temple has a rectangular area enclosed by a high wall, the main pavilions are located in the center, and the less significant ones are located around the perimeter of the territory.
Right behind the main entrance there is a long alley, at the end of which you will see a high, beautiful arch. On both sides of it there are towers, on which the bell and the drum rise. They are used during various rituals and celebrations. In the center stands the Tianwandean temple - the Hall of Heavenly Kings. Inside it there are sculptures of four wrathful guards.
Next is Yonghegong, it is otherwise called the Palace of Peace and Accord. This is the most important structure of the complex, which gave it the name. Here is the statue of Buddha Maitreya - 23 meters in height, 7 of which are underground. It is believed that the statue is carved from a single sandalwood trunk.
Address: 12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng Qu
Guangji Temple in Beijing
Guangji is located on Fuchengmen Street, and is one of the oldest temple complexes in Beijing. The beginning of the construction of the temple dates back to the XII century. It was at this time that the rule of the great emperor of the Tang Zhao-tsung dynasty ended. For millennia, part of the temple buildings were repeatedly destroyed, and subsequently restored by the efforts of local authorities and pilgrims.
After a strong fire in the XIV century, it took at least 15 years to reconstruct Guangji, after which in 1466 the temple complex was named “Hong Ci Guangji”. Further reconstructions in 1584 and 1694 made it possible to preserve most of the valuable to Buddhism exhibits, collected from all parts of ancient China. However, a new fire at the beginning of the 20th century caused serious damage to the sights. Only in 2000, the Guangji reconstruction works were completely completed, and today the temple is considered not only the key attraction of Beijing, but also plays an important role in preserving the traditions of Buddhism.
The territory of the temple complex is quite extensive and covers an area of 2.3 hectares. All the buildings inside Guangji are separated from each other by a massive gate. On the walls you can see numerous images of Buddhist deities. We should also mention the amazing collection of the Minsk period inside the temple halls, as well as the library containing more than 100 thousand volumes of books. Every day, Guangji is visited by a large number of pilgrims and tourists to see the altar of white marble, bronze Maitreya, Buddha statues, magnificent paintings of Pu Wen, the treasure trove of the Buddha’s tooth, ritual tricots, artfully decorated with precious stones, etc.
Address: 25 Fuchengmen Inner St, Xicheng Qu
Beijing Confucius Temple
Beijing Confucius Temple was created in 1306, but the complex has been renovated and rebuilt more than once. Despite all the reconstruction, most of the buildings in the temple complex remained unchanged, in its original form. The area of the temple is almost 50,000 square meters. The largest temple of Confucius is in second place among all the temples of Beijing. The largest temple is located in Qufu city, Shandong province.
One of the main temple buildings is the Pavilion of Scholarships. The building is surrounded on all sides by cypresses, and the roof is tiled in yellow. There are many stone drums near the entrance, with poems inscribed on them. The walls of the building of the Scholarship are completely covered with hieroglyphs, which, as it were, rest on the turtle's backs. The inscriptions tell about the best students of the great Confucius, about the merits of the rulers, and also simply convey wise sayings.
The temple of Confucius can be divided into two parts. The first part is occupied by a patio, an area of 30,000 square meters. The rest of the place belongs to the State Academy, which is also called the Imperial Academy and the Academy of the Wise. At one time, this institution was the highest and most prestigious in the Chinese Empire. At first, the academy was just a school, then it grew into a center of study, and during the rule of the imperial Tang dynasty, it became the Guojiang Academy. Then, after the imperial Yuan dynasty came to power, the academy was renamed again and it became known as the "Concentration of the Wise."
Address: Guozijian Street, 13
Wanshou Temple in Beijing
Wanshou Temple is a quiet and peaceful imperial monastery. During the reign of various imperial dynasties, the temple experienced many changes, reconstructions, and as a result turned into a significant landmark, which consists of the monastery itself, the summer palace and the garden. In the past, the temple was the main venue for ceremonies to celebrate the birthday of the emperor.
Currently, the building also houses the Beijing Art Museum. Now there are many different exhibitions in the Beijing Art Museum: the exhibition of furniture, an exhibition on the history of the monastery, an exhibition of the art of Buddhism, an exhibition of porcelain, an exhibition of Beijing's cultural values, etc. The museum has about 50,000 exhibits on all types of ancient Chinese art, covering a large period - from the primitive era to the time of the emperors Qing and Ming.
The temple is very famous in Beijing and in August 1979 it was called the “key asset”. The museum has another name - “the pearl of Chinese art” for the fact that it demonstrates the very essence of the culture of China, as well as the fact that it contains rare instances of the achievements of civilization in general.
Address: Zizhu Bridge, Haidian
Temple of White Clouds in Beijing
The White Clouds Temple was built in 741, when Emperor Xuanzong (the imperial Tang dynasty) ruled in China. The original name of the temple was “Temple of Heavenly Eternity,” then it was renamed “Tai Chi Palace.”
Not the temple that was built from the very beginning has come to modern days, because it was subjected to constant reconstruction, destruction and restoration. The first time the temple was damaged during a fire in 1202 and was restored at the behest of Genghis Khan. Currently, the temple looks exactly as it was in 1706.
The area of the temple and temple buildings is approximately 70,000 square meters. The territory itself consists of a central, western, and eastern zone, as well as a rear garden. On the territory of the “White Clouds Temple” there are about 19 additional pavilions, rooms and halls. The temple is also famous for its rich library, in which there are about 5 thousand rare works.
During the "Cultural Revolution" the building of the temple was not damaged due to the fact that there was a military unit. For tourists and guests, the temple was opened in 1984, and everyone can visit it without exception. Now the “White Clouds Temple” is under the protection of the Chinese government.
Address: Balunguan St. Beili, 9
Temple of the Great Bell in Beijing
The Temple of the Great Bell (Temple of the Big Bell) is located in the Heidian district. The temple itself was built during the reign of the imperial dynasty of Queen, in 1733. After that, it was the place where all the emperors prayed for the welfare of the people or for rain.
The bell is located on the Big Bell Tower. It was cast in 1403, that is, in the first year of the reign of Emperor Yongl (Ming dynasty - 1368). The bell was one of three projects that were created at the behest of the emperor. Two other projects are the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City.
The bell is about 7 meters high, weighs almost 50 tons. On the entire surface of the bell, inside and outside, the Buddhist sutras are broken. The sounds of the bell can be heard at a distance of 15 kilometers, and for all its unusual properties it was called the King of the Bells of Antiquity.
Inside the temple grounds there is a museum built in 1985. Today, there are hundreds of valuable bells cast in China and other countries, as well as other cultural values and artifacts.
Also on the territory of the White Clouds Temple you can hear Chinese folk music played with the help of bells.
Address: Haidian, N 3rd Ring Rd W
Temple of the Azure Clouds in Beijing
The Temple of the Azure Clouds is located not far from the northern gate of Xiangshan, Beijing Park. The temple was built in the 14th century and became famous for its beautiful old sculptures, the unique panorama of the surroundings and the Luohan Hall. The main building of the Temple of the Azure Clouds was built in 1748, and all the old buildings to the present day are not preserved.
From the courtyard of the monastery territory you can immediately get to the Hall of Heavenly Kings, where the bronze figure of Milefo is located. This figure was cast during the reign of the imperial Ming dynasty. The figure depicts the Buddha Matreya in one of the most common images in China. This image has a prototype - a monk Ki Xi, who lived in the 10th century and shortly before his death was generally recognized as the embodiment of the Buddha.
On the western side of the temple is the “Hall of Five Hundred Immortals” - a large, bright room. The number 500 has a subtle connection with Indian mythology, and the word “immortal” (in other words, “luohan”) was considered to be one of the first students of the Buddha, and subsequently the propagators of the faith.
Address: Xiangshan Lu, Haidian District
Temple of the Earth in Beijing
The temple was built during the reign of the imperial Ming dynasty, in 1530. Today it is a huge garden with flowering trees, lawns and flower beds, located in the densely populated town of Beijing.
At the time when the "Cultural Revolution" began in China, the building was damaged, but then restored.
The Chinese since ancient times believed that the essence of many things lies in the four cosmic elements: the sun, the earth, the moon and the sky. The Temple of the Earth has a square base and is located on the north side of the park, since it is this part that is connected to the Earth. The Temple of Heaven, in turn, has a round shape, implying the sky, and is located in the southern part.
All four temples, including the Moon and the Sun, located in the east and west, interact with each other in different spiritual directions.
The temple complex consists of five buildings: the imperial house, a palace, a warehouse, a pavilion of sacrifices and an altar. Around all these buildings grows a lot of trees, about 170, which are 300 years old or more. The most popular trees are gingko, elm and juniper.
Address: Andingmen Outer St, AnDingMen, Dongcheng Qu
Temple of the Moon in Beijing
The Temple of the Moon is located in Beijing, in a small area of Fuchengmen, located next to the Forbidden City and the Altar of the Sun. To this day, only a few buildings have survived, testifying to the importance of the temple for the Chinese, who lived on this territory during the rule of the Ming dynasty. The main building was erected in 1530, and later on by the decree of the emperor the remaining elements of the complex were built. The Temple of the Moon and the altar, located in the central part, played a huge role in the religious life of the Chinese. The main premises of the temple served for ritual sacrifices to deities, symbolizing the moon and the stars. In accordance with Buddhist traditions, after the sacrifice, the gods of the moon bestow on man wealth and health for the whole of the next year.
The foundation of the temple was made of white stone in the shape of a circle, to which four stairs lead. Each staircase ends with a kind of wooden gates with decorative carvings in Chinese traditional style. On the east side, the gate is decorated with six monumental columns, opening the entrance to the temple.
Address: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng
Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) in Beijing
The Temple of Heaven, due to the perfection of form and popularity, has become one of the main symbols of Beijing.
Initially, the Temple of Heaven served as a universal one: the prayers of Thunder, Clouds, Heaven, Earth, etc. were held in it. Subsequently, it was decided to divide one large temple into several smaller ones. So, the Temple of Heaven left on the outskirts of the city from the south. Rounded shapes have become a symbol of heavenly forces.
The name of the temple Tiantan is correctly translated as "Altar of Heaven." Its construction was completed in 1421, as well as the imperial palace. Once in the temple, emperors brought gifts to Heaven and earnestly prayed for the harvest.
The Temple of Heaven is located in a small distance from the imperial palace itself. For five centuries, during the winter solstice, the emperor, at the end of the three-day very strict fast, visited the temple in order to bestow heaven with generous gifts. Since ancient times, it is believed that only emperors who, according to local beliefs and traditions, have a divine origin, are worthy of talking to Heaven - this is why only he is allowed to turn to Heaven with a prayer for the prosperity of the country.
Address: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu
Temple of the Sun in Beijing
The Temple of the Sun is one of the most popular Chinese temples. It is located about ten kilometers from the center of Beijing, towards the east of the Forbidden City, and it belongs to four such famous altars as the Temple of Earth, the Temple of Heaven, and the Temple of the Moon.
The temple itself is located in Chaoyang, an area also called “Zhitan Park”. It was built during the reign of the imperial Ming dynasty in 1530 for the rituals of sun worship. During the war, the temple was destroyed, but in 1951, the Beijing authorities carried out reconstruction work and rebuilt the temple for 5 years, after which it became open to tourists. The total area of the temple territory is about 20 hectares.
The altar of the Sun is not quite common in the broad sense of the word "temple", since there is no temple on its territory. At the place where in ancient times they made sacrifices, an altar about 2 meters high was built, square in shape. The altar is made of white stone and stairs lead to it from all sides. Low walls lined with green glazed tiles are lined up around the altar. The stone walls are located 6 gates, 3 of them go to the western part, and 1 each - to the north, south and east.
Address: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu
Jietai Temple in Beijing
Jietai Temple is located at the foot of the Ma'an Hill and is considered the most important Buddhist relic built in 622. At the beginning of the construction, the temple was called Huiju Si, and after the leadership of Jietai decided to teach the basics of Dharma for the monks within the walls of the temple, the name changed to today. After training, the monks, as a rule, tied their way to travels in order to pass on the postulates of Buddhism to other people. Jietai’s main function was to educate and further consecrate monks, as evidenced by the numerous scriptures found on the temple grounds.
The terrace is a monumental pedestal made of white marble. Around there are three rows of standing statues of Buddha, placed in special niches. The top of the pedestal is crowned with a golden sculpture of Buddha, along with students and witnesses of a secret ritual. The terrace is surrounded by other buildings, and on all sides of the temple stretched age-old trees growing in the courtyard. Separately, it is worth noting that in 1996, Jietai was included in the list of specially protected sites of China’s historical heritage.
Address: 2 Fu Shi Lu, Mentougou Qu
Zhihua Temple in Beijing
The Dongchei district in the capital of China is famous for such a landmark as the Zhihua Buddhist temple, erected in 1443 at the behest of the great eunuch Wang Zhen, who was the head of the Rite Office during the reign of Zhu Qizhen. The temple is located on an area of 20,000 square meters, and the ancient masters used solid wood in combination with black tiles as a material.
Since 1992, the Beijing Museum of Cultural Exchange has been located in Zhihua, the main purpose of which is to enhance cultural exchange and study the development of cultural heritage sites in the PRC. However, in the temple there are still centuries-old traditions, rooted in the origins of Buddhism. Thus, in the main hall, visitors are invited to listen to unique ritual music performed by a small group of monks. The original orchestra is headed by the oldest monk, Zhang Benshin, who is the last member of the temple musicians’ dynasty. Amazing singing is accompanied by the accompaniment of instruments such as the lip organ, gongs and drum plates.
In 2005, the Beijing government decided on a large-scale reconstruction of Zhihua, which resulted in a significant transformation of all the buildings of the temple complex.
Address: Zhihua Temple in Beijing
Zhenjue Temple in Beijing
In the Beijing Haidian district there is a rather unusual Buddhist temple Zhenjue, built during the Ming dynasty. The architectural concept of the temple was greatly influenced by the traditions of Indian architecture. This is evidenced by numerous architectural elements that resemble the famous temple Mahabodhi, located in India. According to the legend, an Indian monk was involved in the development of the Zhenjue project, who presented his drawing to the emperor Yongle at the beginning of the 15th century. The emperor liked the idea so much that he allowed the construction of the shrine.
The main buildings are made of brick, marble and wood, which gives the temple complex a special originality compared to other buildings of this kind. Initially, in Zhenjue, there were supposed to be 6 main halls, but in 1761 their number was expanded, and the facades were covered with solid yellow tiles. In 1860 and 1900, the temple was significantly damaged after the fire and all wooden buildings were almost completely destroyed. It was possible to save only pagodas made of stone.
Address: Haidian, Wutasi Rd
Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Beijing
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located on the site of the ancient temple of the Tang Dynasty, at the very bottom of the Peking Hill. The temple complex is dedicated to the death of Buddha - in accordance with the traditions of Buddhism, all the buildings of the temple complex are located on the same axis in the center.
Behind the main Honorary Gate begins the temple courtyard, bounded on both sides of the Bell and Drum Tower. At the very end of the courtyard in front of the main building of the temple there are two huge sculptures of guards.
Behind the main building is the second, where all the people coming are met by the figure of Buddha Milefo, who is surrounded by 4 heavenly kings. Behind the figure of Buddha is the Main Hall, which is decorated with several sculptures: Amitabha - Buddha of unlimited light, who guards the western side, two medical Buddhas on the left and right, and the historical Buddha in the middle - Shakyamuni. On the side walls are decorations of the disciples of the Buddha - the Lokhans.
From the Main Hall, a corridor leads to another hall, where there is a high podium, on which lies the brass figure of the Buddha. Its length is about 5.5 meters. The sculpture depicts the Buddha at death, surrounded by 12 of his favorite disciples.
Address: Wofosi Road, Haidian District
Temple of Fayuan in Beijing
The Fayuan Temple was built in 645, and today is considered the oldest building of its kind in the capital of China. Initially, the structure was erected during the rule of the Tang dynasty, but most of them were destroyed during the period of strife and modern parts of the temple belong to the Qing dynasty. After construction, Fayuan was illuminated by the emperor Taizun Li Shimin, who dedicated the temple to all the soldiers who died during the campaign against the northern invaders. In the middle of the XV century, Fayuan was reconstructed and new buildings appeared on its territory.
The total area of the temple covers about 6,700 square kilometers, where there are a variety of attractions and rare relics, preserved in excellent condition. The complex includes a gate, Sutra Hall, Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of Great Compassion, Main Hall, Bell Tower, as well as the drum tower. In the central hall there are such shrines of the Buddhist world as the sculptures of Samantabhadra and Vairochana. In other rooms one can see numerous ceramic statues of a seated Buddha and a Guanyin deity stele made of metal.
Address: 7 Fayuansi Front St, Xicheng Qu
Yunju Temple in Beijing
In 616, at a distance of 75 kilometers from the capital of the Celestial Empire, the construction of the Yunju Temple, unique for its time, began. The grand structure impressed the monks so much that they called it the “Temple of the abode of clouds” and declared Yunju one of the most important centers of Buddhism. Over time, the area around the temple was built up and is currently a complex with fifteen pagodas, some of which were built during the reign of the Tang and Liao dynasties.
The greatest cultural and religious value is the relics stored in the walls of Yunju. Among them are a couple of fragments of Buddha bones found in the vicinity, as well as stone sacred tables, carefully crafted for several centuries by local monks. According to legend, the bones of the Buddha belonged to the real historical figure of Siddhartha Gautam, who was considered the progenitor of all world Buddhism. Stone tables are of particular interest to researchers, as a total of about 20 million different hieroglyphs engraved with special tools. The relic is perfectly preserved due to the fact that for many years the monks kept tables in deep caves with favorable climatic conditions.
Address: Fangshan, Yunjusi Rd
Temple of Yu Qian in Beijing
The temple of Yu Qian is built on the site of an old house in which he lived, in commemoration of his services to the country.
Yu Qian was a famous politician and military leader in the Ming dynasty. In 1449, he repelled the invasion of the Mongol tribes into China, for which he received the honorary title of Shaobao. But as a result of a palace coup, Yu Qian was declared a traitor and was executed. And only twenty years after his death, his good name was returned to Yu Qian.
The house in which he lived was renamed the Temple of Loyalty and Honesty. In 1590, a statue of Yu Qian was installed in the temple. The Yu Qian Memorial Temple was built during the Guangxu period, but by that time all the items stored in the temple had long since disappeared.
Address: No.23 Xibiaobei Hutong, Dongcheng District
Temple of the Spring Dragon in Beijing
Longquan Temple is the first Buddhist temple opened in the Haidian district.
The temple was built in 951 year. It is also called the Temple of the Dragon of Spring. During the Cultural Revolution, the temple was destroyed, and only by 2005 it was completely restored.
On the temple grounds there is a single-span arched bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Beijing. Also in the temple you can see two thousand-year-old ginkgo trees. In the restored Mahavira Hall there is a huge statue of Buddha made by masters of the last period. Another attraction of the temple is an ancient Longquan spring with a slightly sweet taste of water.
Pagoda of Cishou Temple in Beijing
The Pagoda of Cishou Temple is an octagonal-shaped structure 50 meters high. The temple itself was built in 1576 during the Ming Dynasty, but was destroyed during the Qing Dynasty, and the pagoda has remained to this day.
The base of the pagoda is made of bricks and decorated with relief sculptures of Buddha. Special beauty gives carving. The pronounced images of musical instruments testify to the peculiarities of the culture of the Ming dynasty.
The first tier of the pagoda is majestically decorated with so-called "false" arches. Next are 13 floors with decorative balconies. The pagoda is closed by a small spire resting on a pedestal with decorative lotus petals.
Since 1957, the Pagoda is a monument of cultural heritage of Beijing. In 1990, Linlun Park was established near the Pagoda.
Address: Haidian, Landianchang S Rd
Temple of the Five Pagodas in Beijing
The Temple of the Five Pagodas is officially known as the Temple of the Great Righteous Awakening. This is a Buddhist temple of the Ming Dynasty and is located in Beijing.
The base of the temple has the shape of a square. One pagoda is set in each corner and the fifth is in the center of the hall. The height of the structure from its base to the tip of the central pagoda is 17 meters. The temple building is built of brick and white marble, but has a rusty color due to oxidation of iron mica in stone. The walls of the temple are decorated with carvings, Buddhist symbols (wheels of the Dharma), images of animals (elephants and peacocks) and floral patterns.
During the Qing dynasty in 1761, the complex was reconstructed, and the halls were decorated in yellow. During the fire in 1860, the Second Opium War, the events of 1900, the temple complex suffered, only a stone structure of the five pagodas remained. At present, the Beijing Art Museum is located in the temple.
Address: No. 24 Utaisy Tsun, Baishitsyao, Haidian
Temple of Enlightenment in Beijing
The Temple of Enlightenment, or the Great Temple of Awakening, is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the north-west of Beijing. It was built during the Liao dynasty in 1068. During its history, the temple was rebuilt several times.
The temple complex consists of five main halls. Behind the main gate there is the Mahavira Hall, then the Amitabha Hall, the Sarira Pagoda, and the Longwang Hall closes.
In the Mahavira hall there are three large statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Medicine Buddha and Buddha Amitabha, and at the exit from the hall is a statue of Samatabhadra. In the Amitabha Hall you can see the large statue of Guanyin surrounded by two statues of Bodhisattvas. In the pagoda Sarira stored the relics of one of the abbots of the temple.
Address: No. 24 Utaisy Tsun, Baishitsyao, Haidian
Chici Heping Temple in Beijing
The Chici Heping Temple is located in the northern part of the provincial city of Changping. It is known as the center of Buddhism in China.
Temple Chici Heping is a one-column pagoda, painted in light pink color. In its construction, rare tree species were used in Japan and in honor of the opening of the temple, a magnificent sakura was planted. Also in the temple there is a small garden, with a pond and benches for rest.
At the entrance to the temple there are massive gate, painted in the traditional Chinese red color. They lead to mysterious prayer halls.
Yellow Temple in Beijing
The Huangsi Temple or, as it is also called, the Yellow Temple is a Buddhist temple complex consisting of two constructively identical halls. It is located about three kilometers from the center of Beijing. The name of the temple was due to the yellow glazed tile covering the roof.
The temple complex is divided into eastern and western temples. Structurally, they are identical and differ from each other only in interiors. Oriental Yellow Temple, known as the Temple of Universal Purity, was built in 1651 for the living Buddha Naomuhan. The Western Yellow Temple, built a year after the eastern temple, is called the Dalai Lama Temple. It served as the residence of the Fifth Dalai Lama. The Huangsi temple was repeatedly reconstructed and replenished with new pagodas and statues of Buddha.
Address: Huangsi Main Street, Chaoyang District
Temple of Agriculture in Beijing
The Xiannongtan Temple, also called the Temple of Agriculture, is located south of the Forbidden City. It was built in 1420. During the reign of the Ming and Qing dynasties in the temple on the day of the spring equinox, a religious festival was held dedicated to agriculture. On this day, the emperor used the Tilling ritual to change into simple peasant clothes in the temple. This agricultural ritual and other ceremonies related to agriculture, first outlined by Confucius.
All buildings in the temple complex are important architectural relics of China, historically associated with the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The main building in the temple is the Jufu room. Its multi-colored facades and wide roof, covered with glazed tiles, have great artistic value.
Address: 21 Dongjing Rd, Xicheng Qu
Dinghui Temple in Beijing
Dinghui Temple in Beijing is a Buddhist temple built during the Chinese Han Dynasty.
The construction of the temple was carried out around 125 AD. The temple building is located on a small hill and can be seen from afar.
During the time of the Ming Dynasty, when it reached its golden age, this temple had 98 halls, 3,000 monks and 18 additional temples next to it. Currently, only the main building of the temple has been preserved, the gates of which are guarded by two stone lions.
Inside the temple is decorated with carved ceilings and stone floors. Before entering the temple, two ginkgo trees, which are more than 500 years old, grow.
Address: 2 Panchi Rd, Rugao Shi, Nantong Shi, Jiangsu Sheng
White Stupa Temple in Beijing
The White Stupa Temple, also known as the Miaoying Temple, is an ancient Buddhist temple in Beijing. It was built in 1271. The building of the temple consists of four rooms. Behind it a white stupa rises with a height of 51 meters. This is the oldest and largest Tibetan stupa in China, preserved to our time.
At the top of the stupa there is a small bronze pagoda. In the temple halls many ancient relics are stored, some of which were found in the stupa itself during the restoration works in 1978. In the Juliushen Hall, there are three well-preserved wooden statues of the Buddha of the Qing Dynasty.
Address: 171 Fuchengmen Inner St, Xicheng Qu
Confucius Temple in Beijing
Confucius Temple in Beijing was built in 1302, and in 1911 became a museum. This is the second largest Confucian temple in China; it is second only to the temple of Züfu in the village of Zhongni, the birthplace of the philosopher.
Today the area of the temple complex exceeds 20 thousand square meters. The complex consists of four courtyards located on the north - south axis. On both sides of the first of the courtyards, 198 stone tablets are placed, on which more than 50,000 names of people who have passed the Confucius knowledge test of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties are stamped. Also in the Temple there are 189 stone steles, on which sayings of the philosopher are carved.
The main object of the temple, not counting the monument to Confucius, is the pavilion of the Great Dacpendyan Scholarship. Here are placed the statues of the students of the thinker and the museum exhibition.
Address: 15 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu
Temple of the Ancient Monarchs in Beijing
The Temple of the Ancient Monarchs is not very famous not only for foreign tourists visiting Beijing, but also for many indigenous people of the capital. In vain - the temple is a real gem of medieval Chinese architecture.
It was built during the Ming dynasty. In the temple, emperors worshiped their ancestors. This ceremony lasted until the fall of the Qing Dynasty. In the future, the premises of the Buddhist temple were used mostly for other purposes. And only in 2004, after an expensive restoration, the church was reopened to visit for free, but now as a museum.
Address: No.131 Fuchengmennei Main Street, Xicheng District
Black Temple of Wisdom in Beijing
The Black Temple, or Temple of Wisdom, is one of the finest examples of Buddhist architecture. The temple is located in the Beijing Chaoyangmen area.
The black temple was erected in 1443 by order of Wang Zhen, the chief eunuch at the court of the emperor Zhengtong of the Ming dynasty. The name of the temple was due to the dark blue color of the tile.
There are 7 main halls in the temple. The Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas requires special attention, in which more than 9,000 niches are made, and in each niche there is a small Buddha statue.
Kaiyuan Temple in Shunyi in Beijing
Kaiyuan Temple in Shunyi is a famous Buddhist temple. Under Emperor Xuan Zong, a temple called Kaiyuan appeared in every state of China. The purpose of building temples is to hold important exhibitions, Buddhist Xuanzongs celebration ceremonies.
The temple in Shunyi was built during the Yuan dynasty; it was slightly changed during the Ming dynasty. Thus, the temple is an outstanding example of Chinese architecture and art, as it combines the architectural styles of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Kaiyuan covers an area of 203 square meters. The temple has such rooms as Jingang Hall, Hall of Heavenly King, Daxiong Baodian Hall, and a capacity storage room for Buddhist classics. Here you can see amazing stone carvings, Buddhist sculptures, and ancient buildings in the courtyard.
Address: Kaiyuan Road, Shunyi District
Yongshou Muslim Temple in Beijing
The Yongshou Muslim temple is one of the main mosques in Beijing built during the Ming dynasty. In 1624 the temple was reconstructed. In honor of this event, a memorial stone stele was installed in it.
The temple complex includes the main gate, the two-storied Wangyue Pavilion, the main hall, the sermon hall and other rooms. In the main hall, the prayer niche is concave in a westerly direction, so that the parishioners prayed with their faces turned to Mecca. Yongshou mosque was built in traditional Chinese style with elements of Arabic architecture.
Address: 1 Sanlihe Lane, Xicheng District
Niujie Mosque in Beijing
The Niujie Mosque is today considered the oldest mosque, built in Beijing in 996 during the Liao dynasty. The main reconstruction of the building was carried out in 1443, after which in 1696 the territory of the mosque was expanded, and in 1996 minor changes were made to the general concept of Niujie. Despite serious transformations, the builders were able to preserve the original appearance of the mosque, combining original Arabic patterns, frescoes and calligraphy with the general principles of Islamic architecture.
The total area of the mosque is 10 thousand square kilometers. A part of this territory (600 square meters) occupies the main prayer hall, where about 800 Muslim believers come every day. For women a special place for prayer is reserved. Niujie is located in the southwestern part of the old district of Xuanwu, which in Beijing was traditionally considered the focus of the largest Muslim diaspora. The external facade of the building is built of wood and decorated with elements of decor of red, blue and gray colors.
An interesting fact is that in the immediate vicinity of the mosque there is a six-pointed observatory in which fascinating excursions are regularly held. For tourists, Niujie is of interest from the point of view of preserving the traditions of Islamic architecture in the Chinese capital. On weekdays, the mosque is closed for mass visits, but on weekends you can go inside and see the amazing Arabian interior. At the same time it is necessary to strictly follow the rules established by the head of Niujie.
Address: 18 Niu Jie, Xi Cheng Qu
Xishiku Cathedral in Beijing
The Xishiku Cathedral, along with other Catholic churches, is now also a landmark in Beijing. Xishiku is located in the west of the Chinese capital, in the popular Xicheng district. Every day a large number of tourists flock to look at a sample of Gothic architecture. For Catholics, this cathedral is, above all, a place where you can get in touch with religion, since the cathedral is now actively functioning. It periodically holds services and celebrates the main Catholic holidays.
The history of the cathedral began in 1694, when the emperor Kangxi presented a large piece of land on the coast of Zhongnanhai Lake as a gift to the Jesuits. It was a kind of reward for the fact that Catholic doctors healed him from a serious illness. In the future, on the donated site they began the construction of the temple. For this purpose, the best masters from Europe were invited.
At the end of the 19th century, the local authorities decided to transfer the building of the cathedral to the Sichen area, since the land near the lake was involved in the park construction project. In 1900, due to the uprising of the Ikhetuans, Sishik was severely damaged, but thanks to the joint efforts of the marines from Italy and France, they managed to defend most of the cathedral.
Today, architecture of Xishiku surprises tourists with its ambiguity. On the one hand, the building was built in accordance with all the principles of European classical architecture. On the other hand, the influence of traditional Chinese architecture is obvious, as two small pagodas rise in front of the cathedral, and the entrance is decorated with statues depicting lions.
Address: 33 Xishiku St, Xicheng Qu
Assumption Temple in Beijing
The building of the Assumption Church on the territory of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing (in the area called Beiguan - Northern Compound) was built with the blessing of the head of the 18 Mission Bishop of Beijing Innokenty (Figurovsky) in 1903. Previously, the Church in the name of the Assumption of the Mother of God appeared at the Northern Compound of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing on the site of the first Orthodox Nikolsky Church of the Albazinians (a group of Russians who settled in the Beiguan compound in the northeastern part of Beijing in 1685), destroyed in the earthquake of August 19, 1730.
The Assumption Church was distinguished by its laconic composition, ease of articulation, simplicity of form and detail, and the absence of elaborate decoration. All this corresponded to the nature of the temporary type of structure, although, as history has shown, it managed to survive other architecturally significant temple buildings of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing. The use of simple graphic means testified to the desire to create, above all, a stone prayer house for current needs, without waiting for the construction of churches of classical Orthodox architecture.
Assumption Church is the only active Orthodox church in the territory of the Chinese capital.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Beijing
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known by the names of "Southern Cathedral" and "Cathedral at the Gate of Xuanwu" was founded in 1605 in the capital of China. Historical evidence suggests that the Jesuit from Italy Matteo Ricci, arriving in Beijing, decided to ask the emperor Shunzhi a place for his residence. The emperor allocated for this purpose a small piece of land on which the Italian erected a building. In the future, to this building a house was attached, made in the traditional Chinese style. On the roof of the house there was a Christian cross, which is a kind of identification sign for Catholic representatives living in Beijing.
In 1838, at the behest of the emperor, a decree was issued, according to which all Catholic churches became the property of the state. The building was returned to Catholics only in 1860.
The uprising of the Ikhetuans in 1900 had fatal consequences for the cathedral. The building was destroyed to the ground and could not be restored. Therefore, in 1904, with the efforts of the Peking government, a new cathedral was erected on the site of the old church, which to this day is the main active Catholic Church in the capital.
Address: 141 Qianmen W St, Xicheng Qu
St. Joseph's Cathedral in Beijing
The site on which the cathedral now stands was in the middle of the seventeenth century at the disposal of the Jesuit Lodovico Boulo. In 1653 a Catholic church was built here. In 1720 it was destroyed by an earthquake, it was restored that year. In 1807, the new church burned down, while the fire happened due to the negligence of the priests, which led the authorities to confiscate the land. The next church was built on this site in 1884 with the participation of international assistance; however, it burned down on June 13, 1900 during the riots associated with the Boxer Rebellion.
In 1904, a three-nave cathedral was built at the same place. It was closed during the reign of the Communists; in 1980 it was restored and reopened. It was renovated again in 2000. The area of the cathedral is 2 387 m², adjacent to the landscaped area of 1.2 hectares. The western portal of the cathedral overlooks Wangfujing Street.
Address: 74 Wangfujing St, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu
Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Mount Carmel in Beijing
The church was founded in 1723 by the Italian lazarist missionary Theodorico Pedrini; it was the first non-Jesuit church in Beijing. After the death of Pedrini, the church was ruled by the Order of the Carmelites, and then the Augustinian.
In 1811 the church was destroyed, in 1867 - rebuilt. In 1900, during the upheaval of the Ikhetuan, the church was destroyed on June 14, like the rest of Beijing’s churches. In 1912 a modern building was erected at this place.
Address: 130 Xizhimen Inner St, Xicheng Qu
Tantuo Temple in Beijing
The Tantuo Temple, also known as the Tanzhe Buddhist temple, is located in the highlands to the west of Beijing. It was built during the time of the Jin dynasty. The age of the temple is about 1700 years. The Tantuo temple covers an area of 6.8 hectares. At one time it was considered the main Buddhist temple in China.
Most of the surviving temple halls belong to the Ming and Qing dynasties. On the territory of the temple complex you can see the pagodas of the times of Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. The main hall in the temple is the hall Mahavira. It is twenty-four meters long and thirty-three meters wide. Buddhist monks hold religious ceremonies in this hall even now.
Address: Tantuosi Town, Mentougou District
Zhengjue Temple in Beijing
Zhengjue Temple is a Buddhist temple built during the Qing Dynasty in the old summer palace. It is the only temple of the palace that survived the fire of 1860.
Total it was required to restore 990 square meters of the temple. After several years of repair and reconstruction, the temple was again open to the public. Inside the temple antique items are preserved, which are more than 300 years old.
The total area of the temple is 2,658 square meters, however, according to the projects; the total area of the temple construction was to be up to 14 square meters. At present, archaeologists are carefully investigating the architecture of the Qing Dynasty and this temple, or rather, its original appearance. Their main task is the revival of the former Buddhist architectural monument.
Now in the temple there are several exhibitions that show cultural relics that have survived to our time, despite the fires and devastating times.
Address: 28 号 Qing Hua Xi Lu, Hai Dian Qu
Temple Huoshen in Beijing
Huoshen Temple is an ancient Taoist temple, located near the Forbidden City. It already has about a thousand and four hundred years.
The temple complex is located on 4,000 square meters of space. The main hall of the temple covers an area of 2.160 square meters. It still holds important Taoist relics.
The temple for its centuries-old history has been restored many times. The last restoration works were carried out shortly before the Beijing Olympics, so the temple has a very bright and colorful look, not typical of ancient religious buildings.
Address: No.77 Di'anmenwai Main Street, Xicheng District