Top 10 Beijing Religious Sites

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Plan your Beijing tour?  We have rounded up 10 most important religious places which may be helpful for you if you are interested in religious sites in Beijing.  For best mosques in Beijing,  please check my post – Top 10 Mosques in Beijing.

1. Beijing Lama Temple 雍和宫
 The only temple in Beijing to have its own subway stop, the Yonghe Lamasery, or Yonghegong,or lama Temple is the most handsome and impressive Buddhist temple in the city. Lama Temple ( Yonghe Lamasery ) was built in the 33 Qing Kangxi year (1694) and it is now the largest and best-preserved Lamasery of Yellwo Sect in Beijing.

It was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng before his ascending to the throne. Built initially in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty, this building was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was just a prince. However, in 1744 the Qing Dynasty formally changed the status of the dwelling to that of a lamasery, and so Yonghe Lamasery became the national centre of Lama administration.

Open Time: 09:00-16:30
Travel Time: 1.5 hours
Add: No.13 Imperial College Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Take subway or No.62, 13, 116 and special 2 bus and get off at Lama Temple
Entrance Fee: RMB 20

Beijing Lama Temple

Beijing Lama Temple

2. White Cloud Taoist Temple 白云观
This temple is the center of Taoist activity in Beijing. Its origin dates back to the Tang Dynasty, when it was called Temple of the Supreme Ultimate. It became a major Taoist temple after a 13th century master taught, died and was buried here. His disciples renamed the temple Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple) and the name has stuck.

There are still Taoist monks in the temple and they will talk to you. The temple is also the headquarters of the China Taoism Association.
Entrance Fee: RMB 10
Opening Hours: 8:30–16:30 (May – September)
8:30 – 16:00 (October – the next April)
Bus Line: 1. Take bus 26, 45, 319, 717and get off at Baiyunguan Station.
2. 19, 42, 46, 49, 390, 661, 662, 823 or 93

3. Niujie Mosque 牛街清真寺 
The Ox Street Mosque (Niujie Mosque) is the oldest in Beijing, having been founded about 1.000year ago. In the course of several reconstructions, the Chinese architectural features have supplanted the original Islamic influences.

Address Niujie Street, Xuanwu District, Beijing
Traffic:Bus No.6,10,38,53,57,109 and 626
Tel: 86-10-63532564

Niujie Mosque

Niujie Mosque

4. Eastern Church 东堂
Located east of central Wangfujing Street, the Catholic East Church, or Wangfujing Catholic Church, is one of the best-preserved religious sites in the heart of Beijing.

The present building was rebuilt in 1904 on the ruins of the burned church. The East Church was originally called Saint Joseph’s Church, and was built in the 12th year (1655) of Emperor Shunzhi during the Qing Dynast y (1644-1911).

It was the second Catholic church built in Beijing after Italian preacher Matteo Ricci built the “South Church” in southern Beijing at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the 1980s, large-scale repairs and maintenance were carried out by the government for East Church.

Opening Time: every morning (times may vary)
Add: 74, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Bus Lines: Take bus 103, 102, 104, 803, 814, 808 and get off at Donganmen Shichang, then walk north approx. 300 meters.
Mass Times: Weekdays 06:30 and 07:00 (Chinese), Saturday 06:30 and 07:00 (Chinese), Sunday 06:15 (Latin), 07:00 and 08:00 (Chinese)
Tel: 010-65240643

 Wangfujing Catholic Church

Wangfujing Catholic Church

5. Tanzhe Temple 潭柘寺
The Chinese “Tanzhe Si 潭柘寺” literally means “Temple of Pool and Zhe Tree”, now popularly known as Tanzhe Temple in English. There used to be a pool behind the temple and a lot of Zhe trees ( a kind of wild mulberry trees ) on the mountains nearby, hence the name of Tanzhe Temple.

People often use a cliche to describe the long history of Tanzhe Temple – “First came Tanzhe Temple, then Beijing.” which was first built in 307 AD in Western Jin Dynasty ( 265 – 316 AD). Its name was changed again and again through Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. After its and repair and expansion in 1692, the hotel was renamed “Xiuyun Temple and has remained till today.

But it is popularly referred as Tanzhe Temple due to the dragon pool behind the temple and the Zhe trees on the nearby mountains.

Entrance Fee: RMB 55 per Person
Tel: 60862500
How to get there:
By Public Transport:
Take subway line 1 and get off the most western station – Pingguoyuan, then connect public bus 931 for Tanzhe Temple
Bus runs daily 7am-5:30pm, about every 30 minutes. The bus ride time is about 1 hour
By Car:
Drive along National Highway No. 108 (G108) in the west of Beijing. While on the way, it is advisable to notice the placards pointing to Tanzhe Temple.

Tanzhe Temple

Tanzhe Temple

6.Jietai Temple 戒台寺
“Jietaisi – 戒台寺” literally means “Ordination Terrace Temple” Or “Altar Temple” for Buddhist discipline and ordination, now popularly known as Jietai Temple, a combined Chinese and English phrase.

It is one of the well known Buddhist temples in Beijing as well as one of the three most important “Ordination Terrace Temples” in China with other two being Zhaoqing Temple in Hangzhou and Kaiyuan Temple in Quanzhou Fujian Province.

Entrance Fee: RMB 45 Per Person
Tel: 010-60803428
How to get there by Public Transport:
Take subway Line 1 and get off at Pingguoyuan, then connect public bus for Jietai Temple
Self-drive:
Drive from Fushi Road and find the National Highway No.108 (G108), drive according to the placard on the highway which points to Jietai Temple

Jietai Temple

Jietai Temple

7. Fayuan Temple 法源寺
Fayuan Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty, situated at the south of Jiaozi Alley outside the Beijing Xuanwumen. It is not only the oldest Buddhist temple, but also the location for the China Buddhism Institution and China Buddhism Library and Relic Centre, as well as an important venue for nurturing young monks and Buddhism research.

Fayuan Temple spreads over an area of 6700 m2. Fayuan Temple which consists of 13 halls carefully layout over a huge compound, is the oldest ancient temple buildings in Beijing.

Add:7 Fayuan Qianjie, Xuanwu District, Beijing
Tel: (010)63533966

Fayuan Temple

Fayuan Temple

8.Confucian Temple 孔庙
Confucian Temple in Beijing is the place where people pay respect to Confucius, which has started since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

1. Opening Hours
High Season ( May – October ): 8:30am – 6:00pm ( no ticket selling after 5:30pm )
Low Season ( November – April ) 8:30am – 5:00pm ( No ticket selling after 4:00pm )

2. Entrance fee: RMB 30 per person

3. How to get there
Subway:
Subway Line 2: get off at Yonghegong (Lama Temple) Station, come out of the station from Exit C (Southwest Exit), and walk south about 500 meters, then you’ll find Chengxian Jie (Chengxian Street) on your right hand and walk westward for 200 meters, and you will find Confucian Temple and Guozijian Imperial College.

Subway Line 5: get off at Yonghegong (Lama Temple )Station, and come out of the station from Exit D (Southwest Exit).

Bus Route:
Take bus 3, 116 or 117 and get off at Yonghegong Station.
Take bus 13, 18, 44(小), 44(大), 62, 75, 116, 606, 800(内), 800 (外), 909 or 特2
Take bus 125 and get off at Yonghegong Qiao Bei Station.

Confucian Temple

Confucian Temple

9. Temple of Heaven 天坛
Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan ) is located in the southern part of Beijing, and has been one of the most holy places for the whole country for more than five centuries. It used as a complex of sacrificial buildings for the Ming and Qing emperors, and is the largest one in Beijing among several royal altars to Heaven, Earth, the Sun, the Moon and other deities or symbolic forces of Nature.

If you go to the Temple of Heaven in the early morning, you can see groups of people practicing all types of kung fu and taiji. You can also practice with them if you are so inclined. This is another good activity for the jet lag.

Add: on the east of Tianqiao, Chongwen District 67018866
Open Time: 6:00-21:00
Take 6, 20, 39 Buses
Travel Time: 1.5 hours
Entrance Fee: RMB 30

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

10. Yunju Temple 云居寺
Yunju Temple, also named Xiyu Temple, is located at the western foot of Shijing Mountain, 75km southwest of the city center. The temple, built in the early 7th century, is famous for its storehouse of 14,278 stone tablets upon which are carved the Buddhist scriptures.

Most of the temple was destroyed in the 1930s. Reconstruction of the temple is now underway. In 1992, it was among the “Top Ten Tourist Spots of Beijing.”

Ticket Price: CNY 40
Opening Time: 08:00-16:30
How to get there: Bus No.917, 616,646,917zhuan, 917zhi 3, 953, 971 to Liangxiang Ximen, and then take a small bus No.12 to Yunju Temple.

Yunju Temple

Yunju Temple

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