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General Guan Yu in Guanlin Temple

 2014-08-25    Ada    Sights    Luoyang    738  

Guanlin Temple is famous for being the final resting place of Guanyu, the famous general of the Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdom Period. He is a hero in Chinese history and is the only person respected by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists.

Guanyu had been favored bot by common people and emperors alike. After Guanyu was murdered by people of the Wu Kingdom, his head was sent to Cao Cao in order to frame Cao Cao and start a fight between the Shu Kingdom and the Wei Kingdom. However, Cao Cao discovered their plot. Due to his great respect for General Guan Yu, Cao Cao had Guan Yu's body carved from eaglewood and buried the carving and the head with great honors outside the South Gate of Luoyang City. Emperors of succeeding dynasties all revered Guan Yu a lot and even worshiped him as God of War. So Guanlin Temple came into being. As a result, the temple in Luoyang is splendid and grandiose. Now, Guanyu enjoys even greater popularity and fame both at home and abroad. Guanyu is also respected and included by Buddhism and Taoism.

So Guanyu has been deified and worshippped by people all over China and abroad. His deification is manifestied by the numerous Guandi Temple around China, also could be found in the Chinese communities globally.

Actually, Guanlin Temple is a quiet place, which is well restored and brilliantly colored against the grey and green background of stone and the many twisted cypresses. The mausoleums of emperors were called Ling, the tombs of marquis or kings were named Zhong and those of holy men such as Confucius or Guan Yu were called Lin, hence the name Guanlin. The central temple, named Zhibo, was first constructed during the period of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was then further expanded to its present scale during the period of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

The Guanlin Temple covers more than 66,000 square meters and consists of more than 150 small houses and long corridors. There are also more than 70 dramatic steles from ancient times, and 4 glorious memorial archways. Sculpture enthusiasts can enjoy more than 110 stone and iron lions of different sizes. The views from other halls and places inside the temple are also beautiful. In addition, there are about 800 old cypress trees on the grounds, roughly 10 historical statues, and just 1 tomb in the temple.

Indeed, Guanlin Temple and all of its elements makes it a fantastic historical destination. Countless incredible inscriptions from the beginnings of the temple’s history can be found inside the temple. There is one orderly room for displaying inscriptions and inscription on various memorial tablets, and one room for showing the artworks of stone inscriptions. The total number of these craftworks, including inscriptions, inscriptions on memorial tablets, and stone inscriptions amounts to over 2,000.

An art gallery was also built inside the temple, displaying a collection of nearly 2000 ancient steles, epitaphs and stone inscriptions. More than seventy stone-tablets with calligraphic inscriptions are also found here. A five-meter-high stone stele with inscriptions written by emperors from different dynasties is found in the octagonal pavilion. They are really helpful to the research of ancient Chinese history.

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