Northern China is far more than Beijing! | Blog about Shanxi, Taiyuan

Northern China is far more than Beijing! | Blog about Shanxi, Taiyuan


Northern China transcends the boundaries of Beijing, captivating the mind with its rich tapestry of heritage. While Beijing holds a wealth of cultural and historical treasures, it is not the sole custodian of China's illustrious past. Enter Shanxi, a devoted disciple of China's history.

Shanxi, an abundant repository of ancient architecture, boasts an impressive array of approximately 9,000 ancient edifices, constituting half of China's architectural wealth. Moreover, within its borders reside 120 wooden structures dating back to the pre-tenth century, constituting a staggering 75% of such marvels nationwide.

Yet, this mere glimpse merely scratches the surface of Shanxi's allure.

On my inaugural day in Taiyuan, I embarked on a journey to the Jin Temple, situated beyond the city's bustling core. A 1 hour and 20-minute bus ride was the price to pay, but the rewards reaped were immeasurable.

Here's the backstage of the pavilion which was used to perform Chinese opera in Ming and Qing dynasty.

Also, there's plenty of original crafts from the Song dynasty.

The Xian Temple was built to place the offerings to the ancestors or gods. It used to complete the Chinese style of architecture without any nails used.

The main hall of Jin Temple, which is called sacred mother hall, perfectly interprets the exquisite craft of ancient craftsman. There's no single pillar in the entire interior of the hall. It is completely supported by the exquisite design of mechanical structure.

There's the Ying Xian Wood Tower, the tallest wooden tower in the world. The giant has been standing here for thousands of years, and survived through 40 different earthquakes and 300 bomb strikes.

It's truly unfortunate that we can't climb the pagoda any longer since 2004. The reason may be obvious to know - it faces a challenge to maintain. The wall on the second floor is showing signs of twisting and leaning.

It's a concerning trend and addressing it is not a small task. Restoring it safely and authentically is a complex puzzle that many experts are still working to solve.

I cannot describe how impressed I was when I saw those original architecture from past standing there, just in front of me.

Take a look at them, it seems that I can hear the echo from the past - all around me, rain falls on the great city of Shanxi, craftsmen there are using their tools to carve each part of those temples and towers elaborately.

Now I'm here, to be in the city where all the ancestors have gone, in the light of the day when they've been.

En lire plus

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