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Marvelous, ancient Nanshan Temple

shandong.chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: November 16, 2023


An inspiring view of the Nanshan Temple at dawn. [Photo by Chen Fuping]

In the city of Taizhou, located in East China's Jiangsu province – whose downtown lacks any mountainous or hilly terrain – the ancient inhabitants did something special.

They erected four mountain temples, corresponding to the cardinal directions, symbolizing their reverence for mountains.

Among these temples, the Nanshan Temple, also known as the South Mountain Temple, stands as the largest in Taizhou.

Located on the riverbank near the south of Taizhou ancient city, this revered structure traces its roots back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and so it has endured for over a millennium.

In recent years, significant expansions have taken place at the Nanshan Temple, including the construction of the Archway Tower, Tianwang Hall and Wenfeng Tower.

Adjacent to the south of Daxiong Hall is Yuantong Hall, also called  Phoebe Hall, a Tang Dynasty relic.

This hall, adorned with dragon and phoenix patterns on its tiles, is a key cultural relics protection item in Jiangsu province. Inside, 16 gold pillars support beams adorned with colored paintings from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). These depict themes such as the Eight Immortals, the journey to the Western Paradise for scriptures, double dragons playing with pearls and auspicious lotus Ruyi patterns.


A blanket of snow covers the Nanshan Temple at dawn. [Photo by Ji Zhiqiang]


Dusk settles gently over the Nanshan Temple. [Photo by Yang Tianmin]

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