Jinci Temple (Jin Ancestral Temple) is Shanxi’s most famous ancient ancestral temple. It was founded about 1,400 years ago and was expanded through the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Jinci features a variety of architectural styles. It comprises of more than 100 halls, towers, pavilions, terraces, and bridges and includes some of the best Song Dynasty sculptures and buildings still extant in China as well as some lovely gardens and ancient trees.
The most well-known structures at Jinci include the Hall of Offerings, the Flying Bridge Across the Fish Pond, and the Hall of the Holy Mother. Completed in 1032 and with carved wooden dragons coiled around the eight pillars that support its upward-curving double-eave roof, this impressive structure contains some of the finest Song Dynasty clay sculptures in China, each with a different facial expression. The Hall of the Holy Mother was built in memory of Shuyu’s mother. Shuyu was lord of the Jin area (now Shanxi) in Zhou Dynasty.
There are three additional wonders that draw people from across the world to the temple. There are: The Figures of The Maidservants, the Zhou Cypress and the Never Aging Spring. Each of the Figures of the Maidservants that stand in the Saint Mother Hall, colored clay sculptures made during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), are unique. Whether these statuettes are washing, sweeping or dancing, they are all sculpted in a vivid and natural way.
Address: Mahe Village, Mahe Country, Lingshi County
Opening hours: 08:30-17:00
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