Jiming Temple

We had half a day off and decided to hit the streets and do some official tourism.  We looked at our map and started walking to the first tourist attraction that was in English, the Jiming Temple.  After a few wrong turns (finding your way is very hard when all the street signs are in Chinese characters) we found ourselves at the temple.
Jiming Temple Distance
Jiming Temple was orginially built in 527 during the Liang Dynasty, and has been destroyed and renovated many times since. The structure you see here was built in 1387 and stands to this day as an active Buddhist temple. If you want to know more about the Temple, read this sign that placed at within:
English Sign
Yup, that’s about the quality of many English signs in China.

The Temple itself is situated about a half hour walk from our apt. The structures of the temple are all built on a steep hill, and in 90 degree weather it makes for a tough climb. There seemed to be 4 different types of rooms in the Temple, I’ll list them from most common to least.
Gift Shops- I counted at least 6 gift shops and that’s not including the ticket booth (5 yuan to enter, $.83) or the concession stand outside. Then there were rooms with large God statues in them, everything from Buddha, Shiva, and this guy:
Angry God
Most of these statues had food offerings around them brought by the locals who worship there. I can only imagine the monks take the food at night.
Then there’s the Monks rooms. We started to explore these when we realised that we probably weren’t supposed to be in there and that the big sign on the door that we couldn’t read likely said, "Do Not Enter." Anyway, we did see the monks laundry being hung out to dry, and incase you were wondering, they were white underwear.
Finanly, there’s little rooms like this water garden and wishing well with little turtles in it.
Water Garden


3 thoughts on “Jiming Temple

  1. Be sure to visit some of the old courtyard houses. You will find that unlike domestic and religious architecture in the West, in traditional Chinese architecture the basic plan for the two is the same, with variations depending on function. E.g., courtyard houses have a place for a shrine int he center of the back wall of the courtyard, and the rooms are arranged around the courtyard; a temple typically has the same basic idea, but the shrine area is larger and more prominent, and the rooms smaller. A western living room, by contrast is not a scaled-down version of the nave of a church: the two are built along completely different design principles.

    While you are in China, I recommend this book if you can find it: Knapp, Ronald G. “China’s Old Dwellings”, 2000 U of Hawaii. It the best-written, most comprehensive book I have ever read on architecture, and offers a comprehensive and comparative analysis of antique architecture all over China. On that note I feel like a dork: why didn’t I tell you about that book before you left? Well anyway, if you can get your hands on a copy, you will be much better able to understand the historic buildings around you.

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