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Chaoyuan Pavilion


Situated at the outskirt of Xi'an City in Shaanxi Province, the Chaoyuan Pavilion, also known as the Laojun Palace or the Jiangsheng Taoist Temple, is a famous extant Taoist temple in China.

Established in 666, it has a history of more than 1,300 years. Since the emperor of that time had the same surname Li as the founder of Taoism Laozi (or Li Er), he granted Laozi the titles of the Holy Ancestor and the Emperor Mahatma Ancestor Xuanyuan. Subsequently, a Taoist site, i.e. the Chaoyuan Pavilion, was specially constructed near the then capital Chang'an (today's Xi'an City) to offer sacrifices to him. Before long, the imperial court gave the order to hang the portraits of emperors of that dynasty, namely Gaozu, Taizong, Gaozong, Zhongzong, Ruizong and others, in the temple.

It is said that in the 8thcentury Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) once dreamed that Laozi befell to the Chaoyuan Pavilion, so the temple was renamed as the Jiangsheng Taoist Temple (the Taoist temple visited by Laozi) and a white marble statue of Laozi was made and enshrined in the temple.

The structures of the Chaoyuan Pavilion were once quite grandiose in the history. Due to various reasons, the buildings were seriously destroyed. Through intensive efforts, the Sacrifice Hall, the Main Hall, the Temple Gate, wing rooms and other buildings were rebuilt on the original site. The extant buildings of the Chaoyuan Pavilion are the structures left after part of buildings were dismantled in the early 1950s.

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