Originally founded in the Tang Dynasty, Chongshan Ci (Chongshan Temple) was rebuilt in the following centuries. Of the buildings in the temple, the Dabei Hall was constructed in the 14th century. Sitting on 14 hectares (34 acres) of land, this temple also shelters treasures such as Buddhist sutras printed in the Song Dynasty.
Taiyuan is a city with along history. In the modern times, however, it has emerged as a major industrial base of China. The origin of the city can be traced to the Zhou Dynasty over twenty-five hundred years ago, when the capital of a principality was located in the region. In more recent times, Taiyuan, with rich natural resources such as coal and iron, played a critical role in China's industrialization. The city today is a mixture of ancient past and new development. The capital of Shanxi Province, Taiyuan is 500 km or a little over 300 miles southwest of Beijing.
Chunyang Daoist Shrine
Chunyang Gong is a Daoist shrine located in eastern Taiyuan, next to the May First Square (Wu Yi guangchang). Originally founded in the Yuan Dynasty to honor the immortal Lu Dongbin, the temple was expanded and renovated in the 16th and 17th century. Reflecting the nature-worshiping of Taoism, the relatively small Chunyang Shrine, consisted of five courtyards, combines the function of a temple with recreational value of traditional Chinese gardens. The compoun is currently the home of Shanxi Provincial Art Gallery.
Fen River Park
Fen River Park runs along the banks of the Fen River that flows through Taiyuan. It begins with the Fen River Wetland Park in the north and extends to Southern Inner Beltway, with a total length of 8 km and average width of 500 m.
Located 25 southwest of Taiyuan, at the foot of Xuanweng Mountain, Jin Ci (Jin Temple) is an ancestral temple named after the Jin Principality under the Zhou Dynasty that existed close to three thousand years ago. This is oldest and most valuable historical site in the region, and among the treasures on the premise are the Goddess Mother Hall, built in the 11th century; statues of 42 maids and several iron warriors sculptured and cast during the same period; a monument with an inscription by Tang Taizong, the Grand Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, who ruled in the 7th century; and pine trees believed to be over a thousand years old. Also of fame is Nan Lao Quan - "Ever Young Spring" - on the premise. The temple occupies 10 hectares (25 acres) of land and has over one hundred historical buildings. Today it is part of a larger Jinci Park.
Tianlong Mountain Grottoes
Tianlong Mountain is located 30 km southwest of Taiyuan and 10 km west of Jin Temple (Jin Ci). The area is known for its natural beauty as well as historical significance. Of particular value are 25 grottoes that shelter precious Buddhist art - over 500 statues and about 1,000 reliefs and wall-paintings, many of them created during the period from the 6th to the 9th century.
Located in the southeastern district of Taiyuan, Shuang Ta Si (Twin-Pagoda Temple) was founded in the late 16th and early 17th century. The two pagodas that stand on the premises of the temple are of similar architectural style and of same height, but they were originally built for different purposes - the eastern tower was to glorify the literary tradition in the region whereas the western tower was a real Buddhist pagoda. The difference notwithstanding, over time the twin towers have become icons of Taiyuan. The temple is also known as Yongzuo Si (Temple of Ever-continuous Descent).
Yingze Park comprises a lake of the same name and surrounding areas, with a total area of 67 hectares (165 acres). It is located in the heart of the city, south of Yingze Avenue and half way between the Fen River and Taiyuan Railway Station. In the park there is a Buddhist-sutra depository tower and a museum on the commercial history of Shanxi province.
Taiyuan Wusu International Airport is 15 km southeast of the city center. Transportation: shuttle buses and taxis.