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Jinci Temple

Jinci TempleJinci Temple, located at the foot of Xuanweng Mountain to the southwest of Taiyuan, is one of the most important historical sites under special protection of the Shanxi Province.

Jinci Temple was built in the Bei Wei dynasty (386-534 AD) in memory of Shuyu, the second son of the Zhouwu kingdom. The temple compound has ancient halls, pavilions, and towers, all surrounded by the mountains where ancient trees soar to unbelievable heights. The Saintly Mother's Hall, built from 1023 to 1032 during the Song dynasty, is the most magnificent and oldest building in Jinci Temple. It is regarded an important example of Song dynasty architecture. Inside, the 43 painted clay figures of maids wear natural expressions, vividly recreated from their human counterparts.

South of Saintly Mother's Hall, the Longevity Spring is the source of Jin River. It runs continually and always maintains a constant temperature of 17 degrees Celsius. Evergreen duckweed shines in the stream and schools of fish always are swimming about. To the east of Saintly Mother's Hall, the Flying Bridge across the Fish Ponds is the only cross-style bridge still intact in China. To the west of the hall lies a slanted cypress from the Zhou Dynasty. The cypress, the Longevity Spring and the painted clay figures of maids in the Saintly Mother's Hall are Jinci Temple's "three wonders."

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