The Mysterious Taoist Temple
The Mysterious Taoist Temple, lies on the Guanqian Street at the center of Suzhou. The building of the Mysterious Taoist Temple began in the second year of the reign of Hanning in the West Jin Dynasty and is the monastery resort of the Taoist faction of Zhengyi. It was originally called the Zhengqing Taoist Monastery and was renamed the Mysterious Taoist Temple in the Yuan Dynasty. In order to avoiding using the King’s name during the reign of Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, the name was changed into the Xuanmiao Taoist Temple. In the early years of the Republic of China, the name of the Mysterious Taoist Temple was reused.
The most magnificent building of the Mysterious Taoist Temple is the Hall of Three Qings as the main hall which is spacious, towering and solemn. It is a wooden hall building of the Southern Song Dynasty with the largest scale in the south of the Yangtse River and holds a very important position in the history of building of China. In front of the temple is a broad heterogeneously built open-air terrace of green stones. The terrace is surrounded by finely engraved railings of green stones in the eastern, southern and western sides, with a stepping battlement in each side. On the sunk panel of the temple’s ceiling are all magnificent paintings of cranes, deer, clouds, and the instruments used by the Eight Immortals in the Taoist legend. The pedestal for the Statue of Xumi at the center of the hall is elaborately wrought.
The Mysterious Taoist Temple is also a busy traditional bazaar all through the ages with stores and stalls of snacks and vaudevilles standing in great numbers, where visitors to Suzhou would like to go sightseeing.