The Imperial Temple of Emperors of Successive Dynasties (历代帝王庙)
- Key Words:Temple Fair
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It is a place for the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty to offer sacrifices to their ancestors and it matches Tai Miao and Kong Miao in the political position
Information on this page last updated:2016-12-17 16:58:16
|Opening Hours:||Peak Season: 8:30-16:30
The Imperial Temple of Emperors of Successive Dynasties was built 470 years ago in 1530, or the 9th year of Emperor Jiajing’s reign in the Ming Dynasty. It was the only imperial temple in the Ming and Qing dynasties for worshiping the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors, distinguished emperors, ministers, and generals of China in successive dynasties. As time passed by, more and more honored persons were enshrined there. During Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the Qing Dynasty, Jingde Chongsheng Hall housed tablets of 188 emperors, and the east and west wing halls housed those of 79 ministers and generals. Guandi Temple was built to worship Guan Yu, a hero of the Three Kingdoms period. By then the temple had housed the greatest number of tablets in the country. The fact that great leaders of all dynasties were enshrined in this temple implies the important trait of continuity within Chinese civilization. After the Republic of China was founded, the temple was converted for non-sacrificial uses. It was renamed No. 3 Girls High School of Beijing. In 1972, it was merged into No. 159 High School of Beijing. In 2000, government bodies at various levels began to finance a three-year renovation. It was officially opened to the public in April 2004.
Features: The temple covers an area of 21,500 square meters, of which 6,000 square meters are covered by ancient buildings. The whole complex faces the south. The main buildings include the screen wall, the gate of the temple, Jingde Gate, and Jingde Chongsheng Hall, the warehouse of ritual vessels situated along its central axis. These are flanked by the east and west wing halls, the stele pavilions, the sacrificial burners, and the bell tower. In the southeast are the bell tower, the Divine kitchen, the Divine Depot, the Slaughter Pavilion, and the Well Pavilion; in the southwest are the Music Official Rooms, the Guard Official Rooms, the Fasting Rooms, and the Guandi Temple, a temple within a temple.
With a majestic layout, the complex is a classic example of Chinese traditional architecture. Jingde Chongsheng Hall, the main hall, has been refurnished the way it was in Emperor Qianlong’s reign. Prominently displayed in its center are the spiritual tablets of the Three Sovereigns: Fuxi, Emperor Yan, Emperor Huangdi, and the Five Emperors: Shaohao, Zhuanxu, Diku, Tangyao, and Yushun. They are flanked by those of the emperors of successive dynasties. Visitors may feel the solemnity and sense of worship in the hall. In the east wing hall is an exhibition on the historical evolution of the temple; in the west wing hall, an exhibition of the major worshiped figures. These two may help visitors learn more about the temple and the founding, development and consummation of the sacrificial system. Held in the Divine Depot is the exhibition on Family Names and the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors, showing how the 100 major Chinese family names originated from the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors on how they evolved, and stories of emperors of successive dynasties. This may help visitors learn more about the Three Sovereigns and the Five Emperors who were the common ancestors of Chinese people. Held in the Guandi Temple is the Guan Yu Cultural Exhibition on the life of Guan Yu, Guan Yu’s Tomb in Dangyang, the Cemetery of Guan Yu in Luoyang, and Guandi Temple in Xiezhou. The exhibition tells the story of how his body lies in Dangyang, his head rests in Luoyang, his soul is back in his hometown, and his statue is worshipped in Temples. It tells of “A Life of Heroic Tragedy, A Sage of Eternal Sanctity”.
Address: No. 131, Fuchengmen Nei Da Jie, Xicheng District, Beijing
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