Archive for the ‘Dengfeng Travel’ Category

How to visit Songyang Academy

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
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Songyang Shuyuan is known in English as Songyang Academy, which was a type of prvate school in ancient China. Different from national-level academy and district-level schools, shuyuan (academies) were usually private establishments constructed away from towns and cities, offering a quiet environment where scholars and students could pursue learning, studies and thinking without outside distractions.

The shuyuan (academies) originated in the Tang Dynasty ( 618-907) and further developed in the successive dynasties of Song, Ming, Qing. They were places where scholars could teach and study the classics.

Songyang Academy was named “Songyang Temple” when it was originally built in Beiwai Dynasty (484AD). In Sui Dynasty, it was renamed “Songyang Taoist Temple”.  In 1035, it was rebuilt and renamed “Songyang Academy”. Many famous confucian scholars  came here lecturing and studying. Songyang Academy was known as one of the Four Great Academies of the Northern Song (960–1127‎) almost in the same period when University of Oxford 1096 was founded in the UK.

Songyang Academy was listed as World Culture Heritage together with other famous sites including Shaolin Temple and Zhongyue Temple under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng” in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth” in 2010.

Now Songyang Academy is located 3km north of Dengfeng City, easily accessible by taking a taxi or public bus No.02. Normally people visit Songyang Academy together with Zhongyue Temple for a half day tour. You may first visit Zhongyue Temple, then take the public bus no.02 directly from Zhongyue Temple to Songyang Academy.

Well, many travelers prefer to visit Shaolin Temple (Buddhism) first, then visit Zhongyue Temple(Taoism), and Songyang Academy(Confucianism).  Please follow me into the compound of the ancient academy – Songyang Academy.

The main entrance to Songyang Academy, Chinese traditinal up eaved building with a placard hung above with four Chinese charactors – Songyang Academy.

The main entrance to Songyang Academy

The main entrance to Songyang Academy

Have a close look at the gate to Songyang Academy

Have a close look at the gate to Songyang Academy

There are two ancient cypress trees with over 4,500 years old, General Cypress and Second General Cypress, the names of which are said to be given by Wu Emperor in West Han Dynasty in 110BC when he visited Mt. Songshan.

General Cypress 

General Cypress

Second General Cypress

Second General Cypress

Classrooms at Songyang Academy

Classrooms at Songyang Academy

Songyang Academy Phone Numbers
Enquiry: 0371 6872138
Complaint: 0371 62873444
Entrance Ticket: RMB30

How to Visit Zhongyue Temple in Dengfeng

Monday, March 5th, 2012
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Plan your trip to Shaolin Temple? It is advisable to combine Shaolin Temple with a added trip to Zhongyue Temple and Songyang Academy in Dengfeng, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province.

Dengfeng is located at the southern foot of Mount Song. Mount Song is one of the five sacred mountains in China. In history, Dengfeng was regarded as a spiritual center due to the fact it was home to several important religious sites including Shaolin Temple (Buddhism), Zhongyue Temple (Taoism) and Songyang Academy (Confucianism). The major religions in China are converged here in Dengfeng, which has a poetic name, the spiritual “centre of heaven and earth”.

In 2010, several of the most famous sites around Dengfeng were listed under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”.” The well known sites include Shaolin Temple, Zhongyue Temple and Songyang Academy.

To visit Zhongyue Temple, you need to go to Dengfeng City, which is located between Luoyang (80km) and Zhengzhou (70km). Travel overland to Dengfeng is the only way either from Luoyang and Zhengzhou. Numerous buses shuttle to Dengfeng from Luoyang and Zhengzhou. It is also quite easy to hitchhike along National Highway 207 from Luoyang to Dengfeng or Expressway S85 from Zhengzhou to Dengfeng.

Usually a visit to Zhongyue Temple is often arranged after a trip to Shaolin Temple since Dengfeng City is only 12km to the east of Shaolin Temple. Zhongyue Temple is 5km to the north of Dengfeng city center.

Well, please follow me into the mysterious world of Zhongyue Temple in Dengfeng.

After visiting Shaolin Temple, I walk across the national highway No.207 passing by the entrance to Shaolin Temple aboard the Public Bus No.8 running from Shaolin Temple to the city center of Dengfeng. Now it is late February, still a low tourist season and there are not so many passengers on the bus.

There are not so many passengers on the bus from Shaolin Temple to Dengfeng. I soon arrive at Dengfeng, which is located at the southern foot of Mount Song with a population of 640,000 (2010). It has a total area of 1220 Square kilometers, 56km long from east to west and 35.5km from north to south. Dengfeng City is regarded as a city of China’s Martial Arts as well as a city where three Chinese religions are converged including Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.

Zhongyue Temple is situated 5km north of the city center of dengfeng, you take the public bus no.2 or take a taxi to Zhongyue Temple. A taxi ride costs you about RMB 15. It is an important Taoist temple in China dedicated to the God of Mount Song.

It was originally built in Eastern Zhou Dynasy in 770 BC. In Wei Dynasty, it was renamed Zhongyue Temple and became a taoist temple. Zhongyue Temple was further expanded in the successive dyansities of Tang, Song, Ming and Qing. 

Entrance fee: RMB 30

Enquiry: 0371 – 62862577
SOS: 0371 – 62877344

Zhongyue Temple is a group of ancient structures. Inside the temple, there are totally 11 yards and gates from the first gate to the last hall. By the both sides of the axis, there are six palaces and yards.

Entering the Temple, the first architecture you will see is “The First Gate of the Famous Mountain”.

The First Gate of the Famous Mountain

Behind the “First Gate” is the “Distant Worshipping Pavilion”, a delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

A delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

a delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

Tianzhong Loft

Tianzhong Loft

 
Peitianzuozhen Gateway

Peitianzuozhen Gateway

This is the largest hall in Zhongyue Temple – Junji Palace dedicated to the God of Mount Song. Junji Palace is similar to the Super-Harmony Hall of Forbidden City in Beijing since Zhongyue Temple is built based on the style and structure of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Junji Palace is similar to the Super-Harmony Hall of Forbidden City in Beijing

The splendidly built eaves with mythical animals indicate the high status of the temple, which could be found in Forbidden City in Beijing where emperor lived.

The splendidly built eaves with mythical animals

Any questions, just drop a line.