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Ancient Wooden Temples & a Sacred Stone Cathedral

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, I began today by slowly making my way down Renmin Beilu which took me past the huge and very inviting Liuhua Park. I was so tempted to head into the park but I was also so excited about being in Guangzhou on such a wonderfully sunny day that I happily continued my way south towards the Perl River. When I looked at my map I found that I was approaching the area of two of the temples I had circled on my first night in the city. I figured what better way to spend the day than in a couple of ancient temples! (information on both can be found below) After leaving the shady trees and quietness of the Guangxio Temple I began to zig zag my way south through the maze if tiny back streets until I was standing on the banks of the Pearl River. I then headed east along the river until I reached Jiefang Beilu and then went in search of Shi Shi Jiaotang or The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. As with most churches here in China it was closed the two times I was in the area. What is it with churches, they always seem to be closed to the public yet temples always seem to be open to the public. Open or closed it is well worth a look as the cathedral is actually found in a very vibrant part of the city. Yide Xilu is just a quick step away from Yianjiang Zhonglu which runs along the Pearl River. Just back from the river side and all around the cathedral can be found busy little side streets. Most of today's 'City Shots' were taken around the cathedral and not near the temples.

<u>Cathedral of the Sacred Heart </u> Built entirely of granite, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nicknamed 'Stone House' or 'shishi') was constructed from 1863 - 1888. The cathedral was the labor of the first Bishop of the Archdiocese of Guangzhou, Phillipe Francois Zephirin Guillemin. Somewhat perturbed that a city with as many Catholics as Guangzhou should have no great church, Guillemin struggled for a good part of his life to have the cathedral built - finding the land, creating the plan, overseeing the building process and even securing a sizeable grant from Emperor Napoleon III for its construction as a means of solidifying French prestige in the East. The largest Gothic building in China and the largest church in Guangzhou, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart stands some 58 meters high and covers an area of 2700 square meters. A clock face sits in the cathedral's west spire while the east spire serves as a bell tower - the copper bell inside having been brought out from France. The interior of the cathedral is suitably grand with some lovely stained glass windows and fourteen side chapels.

The church is inaccessible outside of Mass times. I spent many hours losing myself, regaining some understanding of where I was to then lose myself again I finished off the evening by walking back across to Renmin Nanlu and slowly made my way along the over crowded pedestrian streets Shangjiu Lu, Xia Jiu Lu, Dishipu Lu and Baohua Lu. We to be honest, only Xiajiu Lu is a no go zone for cars etc and all the other streets have just as many people. Most begin their Beverly Hills 90210 Shopping Spree at the Renmin Nanlu end and turn right into Baohua Lu. All the glitz and neons are found on Xia Jiu Lu and some of Dishipu Lu. Baohua is pretty much a crowded stalled lined market street that for some stupid reason is also on several bus routes. As frustrating as it is for the people I can't help feeling for the bus drivers. It is only a small street and should take only a minute to drive and not the five or more it take due to the crowds. Many people, including myself then head to the Changshoulu Subway station to head home. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: Photos as usual can be found beneath all text ________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Doors The album was 'In Concert' _________________________________________ <u>The Liurong Temple (Temple of the Six Banyan Trees) </u> </b> Around the corner from the Ximen Kou Subway and just off Jiefang Zhonglu on the quiet street of Liurong Lu can be found Liu Rong Buddhist Temple. The temple was founded in the Song Dynasty during the Southern Dynasties (AD420 to 479) which has a history of over one thousand five hundred years and is now one of the major temple attractions in China. The temple was built to enshrine Buddhist relics from India which were placed in the octagonal Hua Ta (Decorated Pagoda). Its attractions consist of a Pagoda that is now over one thousand years old, ancient Banyan Trees (none of which are any of the original six Banyan Trees), a stone Tablet by Wang Bo from the Tang Dynasty, a bronze statue of Hui Neng and a hand scroll by Master Dan Gui (Qing Dynasty). The temple was named by the the exiled poet Su Dongpo fro AD 1099 (Northern Song Dynasty) who wrote a poem about the banyan trees that lined the courtyard. His original inscription of 'Liurong' can still be seen hanging above the temples gateway. The original pagoda was a huge square wooden structure which was destroyed by fire in the tenth century, but reconstructed in 1097 during the Northern Song Dynasty. In 1980, when the pagoda was being repaired, bricks inscribed with the names of periods of the Northern Song Dynasty were found. Pagoda is made of wood and brick and is fifty-seven meters high making it one of tallest southern Chinese ancient pagodas. There is a hidden storey for each of the storeys above the first one. This makes the pagoda actually seventeen storeys high. Inside there are staircases and steeple is made of copper and iron. The copper mainstay, carved with a thousand images of Buddha, was cast in 1358 and bears nine tiers of discs. The steeple, including the bead on its top and the iron chains running from the top to other storeys of the pagoda, weighs five thousand kilogrammes. <u>Guangxiao Temple</u></b><u></u></b> </b> Also not far from the Ximen Kou subway, a little south of Liuhahu Park and just off Renmin Zhonglu the 'Bright Filial Piety Temple can be found on Jinghui Lu. The temple is better known as the Guangxiao Temple and is Guangzhou's most ancient temple that dates back to the fourth century. It was already a famous Buddhist learning centre by AD618 - 907 (Tang Dynasty) and even Bodhidarma came to teach and spread the word of Zen Buddhism which he was the founder of. The temple once had much more than today's nineteen halls and most of which you walk around today was built during the nineteenth century. Its main hall houses a ten meter high statue of Buddha along with one of Guanyin the Goddess of Mercy. The temple costs five Yuan to enter. The temple was initially built as the mansion for Zhao Jiande, the third-generation offspring of Nanyue King Zhao Tuo during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC - 24AD). In the Three-Kingdoms Period, a commander named Yu Fan was demoted and banished to Guangzhou. He lived in here and gave lectures. When Yu Fan died, his family transformed the mansion into a temple. In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Tanmoyeshe, a monk from the western regions came to Guangzhou and built the Mahavira Hall. In the 21st year under Shaoxin Reign title in Southern Song Dynasty (1151 AD), it was named Guangxiao Temple. <u>Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

</u>Built entirely of granite, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nicknamed 'Stone House' or 'shishi') was constructed from 1863 - 1888. The cathedral was the labor of the first Bishop of the Archdiocese of Guangzhou, Phillipe Francois Zephirin Guillemin. Somewhat perturbed that a city with as many Catholics as Guangzhou should have no great church, Guillemin struggled for a good part of his life to have the cathedral built - finding the land, creating the plan, overseeing the building process and even securing a sizeable grant from Emperor Napoleon III for its construction as a means of solidifying French prestige in the East. The largest Gothic building in China and the largest church in Guangzhou, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart stands some 58 meters high and covers an area of 2700 square meters. A clock face sits in the cathedral's west spire while the east spire serves as a bell tower - the copper bell inside having been brought out from France. The interior of the cathedral is suitably grand with some lovely stained glass windows and fourteen side chapels.

The church is inaccessible outside of Mass times.

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral


The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

The Liurong &#38;amp; Guangxiao Temple &#38;amp; ShiShi Cathedral

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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