Shuanglin Temple

Shuanglin Temple, originally named Zhongdu Temple, is located in Qiaotou village, six kilometers southwest of the city. In the northern Song Dynasty, in order to memorialize Buddha who attained Nirvana under two trees in a forest, it was changed into 'Shuanglin', (双) 'shuang' meaning 'two or double', and (林) 'lin' meaning 'forest.' It was rebuilt in 571. Repaired several times, the existing buildings were constructed in the Ming Dynasty.

 Shuanglin Temple Shuanglin Temple

The Shuanglin Temple compound faces south and occupies 15,000 square meters. On the east were the monks’ quarters and scripture hall, which have been destroyed. On the west are ten temples and halls of various styles, which form three courtyards. Interesting items in the temple compound include a tree planted during the Tang Dynasty, a Song Dynasty stone tablet, a Ming bell, and frescoes, some in very good condition, painted on interior and exterior walls.

 Inside are over 1,500 sculptures made of painted clay over a wooden framework. They demonstrate the artistic styles of painted sculptures of the Tang, Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties. Because Shuanglin Temple contains the most as well as some of the best-preserved painted sculptures in China, it is called the ‘Oriental Treasure House of Painted Sculptures’. 

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