Jinci Temple (晋祠 - Jìncí)

Rem Sapozhnikov / April 2014
Jinci Temple is a park and architectural complex, formed in different periods of time, which united variety of buildings in its walls. The place is very popular among the Chinese and is considered a must to visit by everyone, who came to Taiyuan. Jinci is located approximately 25 km to the south-west from Taiyuan at the foot of the Xuanwengshan mountain (悬瓮山 - Xuánwèngshān). It is said that the Jinshui river (晋水 - Jìnshuǐ) originates here, but I could not find it anywhere nearby on the map.

Entrance gate to the Jinci Temple.
Initially, the temple was called Tangshuyuci (唐叔虞祠 - tángshūyúcí), as it was built in honor of Prince Tang Shu Yu. It was about 1000 years BC. Tang Shu Yu actively developed agriculture in these lands, also he used water for irrigation from the Jinshui river. In honor of this river, which brought prosperity, the son of Shu Yu, in name Houxie (晋侯燮 - Jìnhóuxiè), after his father's death, renamed their lands and the name of the dynasty from Tan (唐) to Jin (晋). At some point, it was also decided to rename the temple. It was named by the new name of the dynasty – "Temple in honor of the Jin governor", i.e. Jinwangci (晋王祠 - jìnwángcí). Later the name was more simplified by removing the hieroglyph wang (prince,ruler - ). And there appeared the current name of the temple – Jinci.

What is interesting, now Jin (晋 - Jìn) is a short name of Shanxi province. For example, this hieroglyph can be seen on all license plates of province cars.
In front of the Jinci entrance there is an elegant square with bridges and canals.
The Mirror Terrace (水镜台 - Shuǐjìngtái) is ahead.
Literal translation is the Water Mirror Terrace (reflecting the true nature).
The Mirror Terrace was built in the Ming Dynasty. The Terrace served as an open-air theater.
One of the four iron knights on the Jinrentai Terrace (金人台 - Jīnréntái). Erected in 1097.
Altar, standing in the middle of iron knights.
Cypress Zhou, which is three thousand years, is supported by different props.
The Goddess Mother of Shengmudian Pavilion (圣母殿 - Shèngmǔ diàn) was built in 1023-1032 years AD.
In fact, this Pavilion was built in honor of Shu Yu mother, whose name was Yijiang (邑姜 - Yìjiāng).
Soon there will be 1000 years since Yijiang is sitting in this hall.
The guard next to the Pavilion.
So that the immortalized mother needed nothing, 43 maids were made and painted, each of which performs a single useful domestic function. Servants were positioned in the rooms on either side of the hall with Yijiang.
Part of the Yuzhaofeiliang bridge. Literal translation – hanging (flying) bridge over the pond with fish (鱼沼飞梁 - yúzhǎofēiliáng). Complete picture of the bridge can be seen on the entrance ticket, whose scan is just below on this page. The bridge was built in the Song Dynasty (宋 – Sòng). In its shape it reminds a cross, but the Chinese believe that it is more like flying bird with its wings outstretched. On some sites, they write that it is the only bridge in China in the form of a cross.
Admission ticket is 75 yuan (440 roubles or 12 USD).
The ticket bears a photo of the Yuzhaofeiliang bridge.
Nanlao spring (难老泉 - nánlǎoquán). Literal translation – Spring of eternal youth.
Located next to the pavilion of the Mother Goddess. Built in the era of Northern Qi (北齊 - Běiqí), 550-577 AD, during Tianbao era (天保 - Tiānbǎo), 550-559 AD. It is believed that the year-round water temperature is 17 degrees, that it never dries and it is here that the river Jinshui originates.
Copies of the stone tablets with the "Dedication to the Jinci Temple" made by Lishimin (李世民 - Lǐshìmín) in 646, during his visit. Lishimin is better known as Taizong (太宗 - Tàizōng), the Tang Emperor.
Tablets contain 1203 hieroglyphs.
Guandi Temple (关帝祠 - Guāndìcí).
Guan Yu Statue (关羽 - Guānyǔ).
West Lake.
Shelishengsheng Pagoda (舍利生生塔 - Shèlì shēngshēng tǎ).
Built during Sui Dynasty (隋 - Suí) 581—618 AD., at Kaihuang era (开皇 - kāihuáng).
The seven-storied pagoda height is 38 meters.
Gates between courtyards in the Fengsheng Temple (奉圣寺 - Fèngshèngsì).
Smiling Buddha.
Peony garden in the Fengsheng Temple.
Dozens of stone tablets are hidden in peony garden.
Cozy walking paths in Jinci. But it is already 6 pm, it's time to exit.
Table with souvenirs. 10 marshals of China are depicted on this fan.

Continuation :
Parks of Taiyuan

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