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White Cloud Temple

Archway of BaiyunguanThe Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple), located outside Xibianmen, is a famous Taoist temple in Beijing's history. Famed as the "Number One Taoist Temple under Heaven", it is the chief temple of the Longmen (Complete Perfection) Taoist Sect, and acts as headquarters for the China Taoist Association.

White Cloud Temple

Said to have been first built in 739 during the Tang Dynasty, the Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple) was originally called Tianchangguan (Taoist Temple of Heavenly Eternity), in which Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, was enshrined. It was later renamed Taijigong (Supreme UI-timate Palace) in 1203, and Changchungong (Palace of Eternal Spring) in 1224, because Qiu Chuji, a famous Taoist priest commonly known as the Sage of Eternal Spring, once resided in the temple. It was not until 1394, the 27th year during the reign of Ming Emperor Hongwu that its current name was adopted.

Covering a total area of 10, 000 square meters, the Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple) is the largest Taoist architectural complex in Beiling. The buildings Of the temple are laid out Sanqingge and Siyudian in Baiyunguanalong three parallel north-south axes and divided into the middle, eastern, and western lines, as well as the rear court. Main buildings are arranged on the central axis, such as the Lingguandian (Hall of Officials of the Heavenly Censor), Yuhuangdian (Hall of Jade Emperor). Laolutang (Hall of Ancient Disciplines). Qiuzudian (Hall of Patriarch Qiu), Sanqingge (Tower of Three Purities) and the Siyudian(Hall of Four Heavenly Emperors).

Famous buildings in White Cloud Temple

Qiuzudian is the core building of Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple), and statue of Qiu Chuji is worshipped in the hall. Underneath the statue is his bier. The huge wooden bowl, placed in front of the statue, was bestowed by the Qing Emperor Qianlong. On the inner surface of bowl are inscriptions by the emperor. The structure in the back of the middle line is a double-storied building, which is situated in an enclosed courtyard built in accordance with the Eight Diagrams of Taoism. Upstairs is the Sanqingge, where the three most revered divinities of the Taoism are enshrined; and downstairs is the Siyudian, where the four Taoist deities are worshipped. All decorations inside the hall are Taoist patterns.

Along the west axis of Baiyunguan (White Cloud Temple) stand halls in which immortals and deities popular in folklore stories are enshrined. Main structures include Baxiandian (Hall of the Eight Immortals), Luzudian (Hall of Patriarch Lu Dongbin), Yuanjundian (Hall of the Primordial Sovereign), Wenchangdian (Hall of Literary Prosperity) and Yuanchendian (Hall of PrimordiaI Time). The buildings on the east axis are now offices of the China Taoist Association. The courtyard in the rear, the Yuniiyuan (Garden of Cloud Gathering), is a secluded place made up of three small courtyards.

 

White Cloud Temple Tour

During the tour to Baiyunguan, while enjoying the largest Taoist architectural complex in Beiling tourists could also learn more about Taoism Culture at the same time.