Baoguo Temple

Baoguo Temple of Ningbo, Ningbo Attractions, Ningbo Travel GuideBaoguo Temple, situated in the Valley of Lingshan Mountains, 15 kilometers to the north of Ningbo, is the oldest and most completely preserved wooden Buddhist building with a unique design and impressive vigor, dated to the Northern Song Dynasty in South China with over 970 years of age. Its roof was renovated in Kanxi 23rd Year and took the shape of gable and hip roof. Listed among the wonders of Chinese architectural civilization, the ancient palace is now as impressive as it used to be, and assumes high historic, artistic and scientific values. Its main characteristics include: the width of the palace (13.38m) is greater than its length (11.83m), in the form of a vertical rectangle; three perforated caissons are adroitly designed in its front hall ceiling; the intricate Dougong structure; four coated arrays columns with obvious flank feet at their bodies; a peculiar moon beam style with two folding shoulders. All the above features resemble or approximate the methods of Yinzao Fasi in Song Dynasty with the evident influences of architectural characteristics of Tang Dynasty, which provides ample precious real-case examples for the study of Song style architecture.

The Grand Hall is invaluable in the history of Chinese construction in the field of history, arts and science. The main characteristics of the hall are that its depth is larger than its width; hence its form is a vertical rectangle. This structure is rare in the construction of Buddhist temples in the same period. The whole structure of the hall, supporting the roof of over 50 tons, has layers of layer ingeniously interlocking wooden brackets but not a single nail was used. There are three hollowed-out sunken panels in the ceiling, hiding the roof beam; thus the hall is called "Beamless Hall." Besides the unique structure, there is another peculiar phenomenon in the beamless hall, for no one knows why no bird enters the temple, no insect eats the wood of the temple, no spider weaves nets in the temple even no dust stick to the beam of the temple. It's now one of the major cultural relics under the protection of the state.

Between 25 and 50 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Guangwu of Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhang Qifang, the imperial minister, quitted his rank to retire here as a recluse and later made his residence a temple named Temple of Mount Ling. In 880, the Emperor bestowed on the temple a plague inscribed with the word 'Baoguo', and so it was renamed Baoguo Temple. In 1013, Dexian the monk rebuilt the Main Hall and others. Since then, the temple witnessed repeated destructions and restorations. Apart from the Precious Hall of the Great Hero, all other halls and dining houses were built in Ming and Qing Dynasty or at the time of the Republic of China. These include the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Main Hall, the Abbot Hall, the East and the West Wings, the Bell Tower, the Sutra Attic, which covers a land area of more than 13,000 square meters, with floor space of some 5,700 square meters.

Ningbo Baoguo Temple, Ningbo Attractions, Ningbo Travel GuideIn March 1961, the State listed Baoguo Temple among the key cultural relics under State-level protection. There are altogether 17 exhibition halls in Baoguo Temple open to the public. In addition to the building itself, other important cultural relic exhibits on display include Emperor-conferred Longchang, Buddha statues, bronze utensils, brick and stone sculpture, a-thousand-labor bed, the-thousand-labor sedan, to name just a few. The top six scenic spots of Linshan, (Hanxu Pool, Linlong Spring, Qinzhang Pavilion, Baoguo Temple, Sea-viewing Tip and Plum Forest), which occupies a total area of 72.47 hectares boast a majority of natural forests, sound ecological environment and diverse ancient forests. The rate of forestation in this area has hit upwards of 90% and it has now been an ideal place for travel, recreation and entertainment. Among the first scenic spots open to the rest of the world, Baoguo Temple also enjoys easy traffic accessibility with many public transportation routes leading to the downtown area of Ningbo.

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