Thursday, June 09, 2005

China | Beijing | Dongye Temple

Spent an enjoyable morning at the Dongye Temple in the bustling Chaoyang section of Beijing. Although the bizarrely outlandish gateway gives an unpromising impression the temple grounds themselves are an oasis of calm amidst the towering apartment buildings and skyscrapers just outside. Although some the temple complex was built during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) there is not a hint of Mongol influence, or for that matter Buddhist influence in any of the temples. These are strictly traditional Chinese Taoist temples of the Zhengyi School, intended as places to make offering to Taoist gods and one's ancestors.

Garish Gateway to the Temples: don’t do this place on acid!

Oasis of calm

Stelae in the courtyard

Statues in one of the dozens of separate temple rooms

More statues

More statues

These two “Gods of Wealth” are in a temple built in 1328. According to a sign, they encourage “making profits on a fair competition basis in any commercial transaction.”