How to Visit Zhenguo Temple in Pingyao

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Plan your Pingyao tour? Along with Pingyao Ancient City and Shuanglin Temple, Zhenguo Temple is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Site as “Ancient City of Pingyao”. Zhenguo Temple is famed for its wooden buildings. It is worth your 1-2 hour exploration on your side trip from the ancient walled city of Pingyao itself.

Zhenguo Temple is located in Hadong Village 16km to the northeast of Pingyao Ancient City. At the time of my writing, there is no public transport connecting the old city of Pingyao and Zhenguo Temple. Basically you need to take a taxi or rent a private vehicle to visit Zhenguo Temple.

Zhenguo Temple faces to the south with the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tianwang Hall) as its gate. After the Tianwang Hall are the two main halls – Wanfo Hall and Sanfo Hall which form two courtyards in between. On both sides of the two courtyards are several side halls. There is a high wall circling the entire compound.

Wanfo Hall is the oldest building in Zhenguo Temple dating back to the year 963 in the short-lived North Han Dynasty. Originally, the temple was named as Jincheng Temple. In the year 1541 in Ming Dynasty, the temple was renamed as the present name – Zhenguo Temple.>

Zhenguo Temple is noted for Chinese traditional wooden structures featuring very large brackets holding up the roof and flying eaves as well as the sculptures inside the halls.

Follow me to enter the 1000-year-old buddhist temple.

This is the Temple’s pailou – Chinese traditional archway and behind the pailou is a large parking lot and a clean public toilet.

Chinese traditional archway

Chinese traditional archway

The ticketing office is by the outer entrance to the temple. RMB 30 per person.

This is the entrance to the temple complex.

This is the entrance to the temple complex.

This is the entrance to the temple complex. The entrance is actually a gate popularly known as Tianwang Hall( Heavenly King’s Hall).

The entrance gate - The Tianwang Hall

The entrance gate – The Tianwang Hall

The hall was built in Yuan Dynasty ( 1271 – 1368 ) and rebuilt for many times. Inside the hall are statues of the four heavenly kings.

A large bracket holding up the roof and flying eaves in the middle of the Gate (also known as Tianwang)
A dragon head atop the flying eaves on the both sides of the top roof.

A large bracket holding up the roof and flying eaves

A large bracket holding up the roof and flying eaves

North of Zhenguo Temple is the Wanfo Hall. Wanfo Temple was built in 963, the oldest building in the temple. Inside the hall there are eleven painted sculptures built in Five Dynasties ( 907 – 960) and the frescos of 1000 Buddhas.

the Wanfo Hall

the Wanfo Hall

Large brackets support the roofs.

Large brackets support the roofs

Large brackets support the roofs

Through the side gates, you can enter the second courtyard north of Wanfo Temple.

Through the side gates, you can enter the second courtyard north of Wanfo Temple.

Through the side gates, you can enter the second courtyard north of Wanfo Temple.

The second courtyard is centered by the main hall known as the Three Buddhas Hall flanked by the Guanyin Hall in the west and Dizang Halls in the east, which both date from the Ming Dynasty ( 1638 – 1644 ).

the Three Buddhas Hall

the Three Buddhas Hall

The Three Buddhas Hall was built in Ming Dynasty with painted sculptures and frescos. The life story of the Buddha was represented with well-executed frescos on the two walls.
A side brick stair brings you to the second floor of the Three Buddhas Hall.

A side brick stair brings you to the second floor of the Three Buddhas Hall.

A side brick stair brings you to the second floor of the Three Buddhas Hall.

The building on the second floor.

The building on the second floor

The building on the second floor

By the entrance stands on the two large painted sculptures.

By the entrance stands on the two large painted sculptures.

By the entrance stands on the two large painted sculptures.

Any questions, just drop a line.

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