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Shanxi - Jinci Temple

Shanxi - Datong - Pingyao - Taiyuan

Located 25 kilometer to the southeast of downtown Taiyuan City, Jinci Temple is a combination of historical cultural relics and beautiful landscapes. The welcoming boughs of a multitude of ancient trees provide an eye-catching entrance to the temple. Beyond this, the numerous halls, cabinets, pavilions and bridges are guaranteed to keep any visitor fascinated. Jinci Temple is world-famous because it is an ancient ancestral temple, something which is rare in China.

Jinci TempleJinci Temple has a long history, which can be traced back to the Western Zhou dynasty, when King Cheng made his younger brother Yu a leader of one of his states. Yu was an intelligent leader who devoted all his energies to making the state prosperous, so his descendants built a temple for him after his death, in order to honor his achievement.

Saint Mother Hall, the oldest building in the temple, is one of the main reasons that so many visitors come to the temple. Together with the Flying Bridge across the Fish Pond, and the Offerings Hall, these exquisite buildings provide evidence of a new era in Chinese architecture. For example, the Flying Bridge across the Fish Pond is the only one of its kind that exists now; accordingly, it plays an important role in an investigation of the ancient bridges of China.

There are 3 additional wonders that draw people from across the world to the temple. These are: The Figures of The Maidservants, the Zhou Cypress and the Never Aging Spring. Each of the Figures of the Maidservants that stand in the Saint Mother Hall, colored clay sculptures made during the Song dynasty, are unique. Whether these statuettes are washing, sweeping or dancing, they are all sculpted in a vivid and natural way.

Jinci Temple was, to a certain extent, an imperial garden. Accordingly, some 300 tablets were inscribed for it with writings by emperors, officials and poets, and these now line a scenic path in the temple.