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Fahai Temple

Fahai Temple is located on the Cuiwei Mountain, in the far west of Beijing.

It is not worth a trip in itself, but it is easily combined with a visit to the cemetery for eunuchs, Tianyi Mu. This temple was funded by a wealthy eunuch who attracted artisans from all over China to produce stunning murals and statuary, under the close eye of artists from the imperial court. The statues didn't survive the Cultural Revolution, but several exquisite Buddhist murals in the main hall remain untouched.

Fahai TempleThe main constructions are respectively built on 3 terraces. On the first terrace is the Hall of Gateway; on the second is the Hall of Four Gods, and on the third is the Grand Hall of Buddha, around which is the Hall of Masters. This Ming Temple's construction was completed in 1443. Emperor Zhu Qizhen inscribed the stele of the temple, which makes it famous among numerous temples in Beijing.

Fahai Temple is noted for its murals, which are represented by the mural painting the auspicious clouds behind the three-life Buddha, the mural painting the Buddhists attending a meeting, the mural behind the shrine painting the three Masters and the mural on the back wall depicting Brahma worshipping the Buddha.

They all adopt the traditional Chinese realistic painting method characterized by fine brush work and close attention in detail. Fine, delicate strokes, meticulous painting and exquisite coloring have made the murals distinguished among murals found in Beijing. Compared with Dunhuang Murals and Yongle Palace Murals in Shanxi Province, murals in Fahai Temple have their own merits, which could match the beauty of renaissance murals in Europe.