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Dongyue Temple


The Dongyue Temple has distinctive characteristics among the Taoist buildings of China. It is located on Baishan Mountain east of Puxian County in Shanxi Province, so it is also called the Baishan Temple.

The whole temple is grandiose and well organized with more than 60 buildings, including Temple Gate, the Lingxiao Hall, the Music Tower, the Discussion Hall, the Sacrifice Pavilion, the Dongyue Xinggong Hall, the Houtu Temple, the Shengmu Temple, the Qingxu Palace, the Dizang Temple, the Hell, the Turret and surrounding corridors. Though the year when the Dongyue Temple was first constructed cannot be determined, it is sure that it had been very famous as early as in 1205.

The extant principal building is the magnificent Dongyue Xinggong Palace. It was once destroyed by earthquake and was rebuilt in 1318. All the columns are stone poles carved with five ancient poems. The statues of Dongyue Dadi (Great Emperor of the Sacred Mountain of the East) and other Gods are enshrined in the hall. As to the Dongyue Temple, what is the most famous is that there is Hell of Eighteen Layers under the temple, which is composed of 15 caves. The statues of Wuyue Dadi (the Great Emperors of the Five Sacred Mountains), Shidian Yanluo (kings of Hell from ten halls), Liucao Panguan (six officials in hell) and other Gods and ghosts of Taoism are arranged in the caves. The statues are of the height of a true person. Some scenarios of Hell such as various ghosts, knife mountain, oil bath, mill and saw, etc., are exhibited there. They are the very rare works of extant clay sculpture in China.

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