There are iron arches and promenade with lanterns on the other side of the wall in the Songzhu Temple, which makes it hard to imagine it is a temple with history of hundreds of years. (CNS/Jin Shuo)
Edited and translated by Li Xiang, People's Daily Online
At the beginning of 2013, the news of two ancient temples in Beijing turning into fancy private clubs have triggered debates, which have thrown the previous unknown temples under the limelight. Journalists visited the temples again on July 20, 2013. It seems the restaurants and personal lounges in the temples are still functioning as usual. According to people living around here, it’s been quite some time since the temples closed to public; however, there are some luxurious cars coming in and out of the temples after nightfall, and some would not leave until the next morning. People remember they are allowed to play inside the temples in the early ages; it is hard to recall what it is like inside the temple.
Songzhu Temple, one of the famous spots in ancient Beijing, is located at No.25 North Beiheyan Street. Songzhu Temple, along with Zhizhu Temple and Fayuan Temple, was called three temple sites. Songzhu Temple and Zhizhu Temple were turned into two fancy upscale restaurants in 2012, and are still open as usual.
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