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Jin Memorial Temple

The Jin Memorial Temple in Taiyuan


The Jin Memorial Temple is located at the foot of Mount Xuanweng, 25 kilometres from Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi Province. After the Duke of Zhou's eastern expedition, King Cheng made his brother Shuyu Prince of Tang, but, after the latter's death, his son Xie renamed his principality Jin, because the Jin River ran through his territory, gradually his principality became a strong country. Later a memorial was built on his behalf. It was first constructed before the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) and, after renovations and extensions in succeeding dynasties, has attained its present scale.

Built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the Sacred Lady Hall is still as magnificent and grandiose as before. It is one of the famous ancient Chinese architectures. In the hall are preserved intact forty-three statues of human size that resemble real human beings. On entering the hall the tourist feels as if a sumptuous palace. The gorgeous Sacred Lady Yijang sits in the centre with maid servants waiting on each side, their dresses, postures, and manners being different. From these the tourist can differentiate their respective ages and stations. For example, the ones with slender bodies and in elegant dresses are dancing girls. Those having seals on their left palms and holding them their right hands while their bodies bend slightly forward are the servants in charge of seals. There are innocent and graceful young maids of honour and prudent and gloomy looking old maids. Some maids hold broom- sticks, others carry jugs of water, still others are bringing in dishes and ready to serve, and still other maids are in charge of the stationary. Each of them is so vivid and exquisite in every detail that they constitute masters of Chinese sculptural art in excellence.

Beside the Hall of the Sacred Lady is an everlasting spring under an octagonal roof with a pointed top. It is here that the tourist can see his or her reflection on the water just as in a mirror, while bubbles come out from the bottom of the spring like pearls. This spot is the essence of Jin Memorial Temple. The water here is so clear like green jade that the place seems to be in springtime all the year round.

After intensive renovations and extensions, this ancient Jin Memorial Temple has taken on a completely new look.

The precious halls, pavilions, terraces, bridges, and archways are interspersed amongst the gardens according to the landform so as to enhance the beauty of the place.

 

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