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Dongyue Temple

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Founded in 1319 and still located in Beijings Chaoyang District, Dongyue Temple has long been to more practical use as the Beijing Folk-custom Museum than its original purpose as a Taoist temple.

Located at Chaoyangmenwai Street only 500 meters east of the Beijings Chaoyangmen Subway Station, Dongyue Temple contains three courtyards and covers an area about 4.7 hectares. With 376 rooms, it is the largest remaining temple of the Zhengyi School (which also called Qingwei School) of the Taoism in north China. Destroyed by fire, it was later rebuilt during the Ming dynasty and although the current complex dates back to the Qing dynasty, it still retains the style of its earlier incarnations. The temple, once famous for its gods, couplets, stone tablets and its horizontal inscribed boards, housed more than 3,000 statues, of which 1,000 still stand. The Yude Hall, first finished in 1481, now displays valuable status carved of Jinsi Nanmu (a type of wood) which including the God of Earth, God of Heaven and God of Water. Dongyue Temple was mainly offer sacrifice to the God of Taishan Mountain---the Great Emperor of Dongyue with whose statue stands in the middle of the Hall of Taishan (Taishan Mountain is one of the five China's sacred mountains). Temple corridors house 72 statues of deities, called chiefs of departments, showing officials handing out punishments, some grotesque and miscreants.

While visit it during Chinese New Year, one can also see one of the Beijings more interesting temple fairs. Dongyue Temple is one of the greatest historical sites and culture relics under the state protection. The stone tablets inside the temple have great value on the research of Taoism. And among them, the Taoism Stele written by the famous calligrapher Zhao Mengfu in Yuan dynasty has the highest value on arts and historical materials.

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