Beijing Dongyue Temple(东岳庙, East Mountain Temple) currently named Beijing Folk Custom Museum located on Menwai Dajie of Chaoyang District was initially built in Yuan Dynasty with roughly more than 600 years of history. Unfortunately it was firstly destroyed in warfare amid late period of Yuan Dynasty. Later, it was reconstructed and extended and finally becomes north China’s largest Taoist Temple of Zhengyi Branch in Taoism. It is titled First Taoist Temple of Northern China today. The entire temple building is fairly significant and eye-catching. The inside decoration is also perfectly splendid.
Dongyue Temple mainly serves Holy Emperor of East Mountain or Tai Mountain as well as the system of gods. It is the largest palace-style Taoist temple of Zhengyi Branch of Taoism. Its construction owes to the help of Zhang Liusun(张留孙), who was the 38th descendant of Zhang Daoling(张道陵), popularly called Zhang Tianshi（张天师）highly respected as the founder of Taoism as a religious belief. Dongyue Temple was started building in 1319 and completing in 1323. It is famous for three excessivenesses: more holy statues, more couplets and more stele engraving. The highlighted statues are god statues of 76 sectors taking charge of different liabilities. They form a scroll of life-like picture themed with folk beliefs featured with the shape design of socialization, personalization and dramatization.
Dongyue Miao covers around 100 mus with more than 600 rooms and halls. It is comprised of the main garden and east and west gardens with the ancient architectural styles of Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Outside of the temple gate, there is a Pai Fang built in Ming Dynasty and covered with green glazed tiles. The main side is carved with“秩祀岱宗”and the back side is carved with four characters“永延帝祚”， which was said to be written by Yan Song, the first evil official of Ming Dynasty. Entering the gate, visitors can see the drum tower and bell tower on east and west sides. The north side is occupied by two large steles. The side is a stele with the manuscript ion of Emperor Qian Long of Qing Dynasty. The west side is a non-written stele. Dongyue Temple also boasts the small-size Stele Forest of Capital. Originally, there are more than 140 ancient steles, but after several times of destructions of warfare, there are only some remained. Daizong Baodian(岱宗宝殿) is the main building of Dongyue Temple. Holy Emperor Dongyue and Holy Empress are served inside. In temple, thoroughly there are more than 3000 statues with different shapes, poses and expressions
Dongyue Dadi or Holy Emperor of Dongyue in Taoist system is an important god taking charge of the hell and comeuppance and weal and woe on the earth. So Dongyue Temple is a quite critical destination to learn more about the mysterious culture and god system of Taoism.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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