This gate is located in the south of the town and is also known as Nanchengmen. The original wall dates back to the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581 A.D.) and was made up of an outer wall and an inner wall with a total length of 24km. It's possible to visit the gate where there is a small exhibition on the town and photos of the wall and gate before and after restoration.
The Linji Temple was built during the times of the Eastern Wei Dynasty in the year 540 A.D. During the Tang Dynasty, it became the site where monk Linji Yixuan founded the Linji School, one of the five schools of Chinese Chan Buddhism. The temple is home to the Chengling Pagoda which was built between 1161 and 1189.
Open: 7.30am-5pm. Admission: RMB8 (not included on the through ticket).
The Hua Pagoda, built around 1200, meaning Flower Pagoda, is part of Guanghui Monastery, in the south of Zhengding, is a four-storey brick building with an unconventional shape and a total height of approximately 40 meters. While the lower three storeys have an octagonal floor plan, the fourth storey has a circular layout over which the walls taper towards the tip giving the storey a conical shape. On the outside, this storey is richly decorated with carvings of Buddhas, elephants, and aquatic animals. Another unusual feature of the Hua Pagoda are 4 small attached buildings, which are pagodas themselves and crowned with an egg-shaped tip. These were once lost but have recently been completely restored.
The Chengling Pagoda is built from gray bricks, so it is also known as the Grey Pagoda. It is located in the south of Zhengding and was formerly part of the Linji Temple. The Linji Temple was built during the times of the Eastern Wei Dynasty in the year 540 A.D. During the Tang Dynasty, it became the site where the monk Linji Yixuan founded the Linji School, one of the five schools of Chinese Chan Buddhism. The pagoda was first built in 867 A.D. to serve as a shrine for the mantle and alms bowl of Linji Yixuan. The original pagoda was ruined and replaced during the years 1161 to 1189 by the present-day structure which stands on a substructure known as a Sumeru Pedestal after the mythical Mount Sumeru and has an octagonal cross-section. It has nine storeys and a total height of 33 meters. Because it is seen as one of the birthplaces of Zen Buddhism, the pagoda is a favourite site for pilgrims and tourists from Japan.
Admission: RMB8 (not included on the through ticket).
The Xumi Pagoda, named for the mythical Mount Sumeru, also known as Summer Pagoda, is part of Kaiyuan Monastery which is located on the road that leads south to the South Gate known as Changle Gate. It was built from stone and bricks and, at 48 meters, is the tallest pagoda in Zhengding. The pagoda has a geometric design with a square floor plan set on a stone platform. The pagoda was first built during the Tang Dynasty in 636 A.D. Apart from a wooden ceiling over the first storey (of which no floorboards remain), the inside of the pagoda is hollow and there is no staircase either. Among the rather plain decorations on the outside are thirteen tiers of eaves as well as stone carvings of the Heavenly Kings at the corners of the stone platform. The pagoda is one of originally four fiducial buildings on the grounds of the Kaiyuan Monastery: Tianwang Hall in the front and Fachuan Hall (now in ruins) in the back, a bell tower (built in 540 during the Eastern Wei Dynasty, renovated in 898 during the Tang Dynasty) in the east and the pagoda in the west. Today, the Monastery is largely destroyed and the Xumi pagoda stands surrounded by trees.
All that remains of this temple, originally built in 540 AD is the late Tang dynasty Bell Tower, which can be climbed for a good view of the bell, and the Tianwang Hall at the temple entrance. Other temple buildings lay in ruins including a huge bixi - a primitive kind of dragon, but the main draw-card is the 48-metre high square Xumi Pagoda which is reminiscent of the pagodas in Xian.
This rather plain temple complex is at the western side of the town along the same road as the Longxing Temple is located on. It's not all that interesting and was virtually empty when I visited but it's included in the through ticket so you might as well visit it.
The Lingxiao Pagoda, also known as the Wooden Pagoda, is a wood-and-brick construction, which was formerly part of the Tianning Monastery, located to the west of Longxing Monastery. It was recorded as being first built in 860 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty, and has undergone many repairs and renovations since. The architectural style of the present-day pagoda was created during the Song Dynasty in 1045. The pagoda has an octagonal floor plan, nine storeys, and a total height of 41 meters. The four lowest storeys are made from bricks decorated with wooden eaves. From the fifth storey upwards, the pagoda construction is entirely made of wood, constructed around a central pillar. While storey height continuously decreases from the bottom to the top of the pagoda, this decrease is particularly steep in the five upper wooden storeys.
These are some pictures of the temple garden, which can be found at the back of the temple complex. It includes a nice archway, a pavilion surrounding a well with some headless Buddha statues and a lake.
The history of this hall dates back to the Emperor Wanli period of the Ming dynasty (1573-1620). It was originally constructed as the main building of Chongyin Temple in Zhengding but was moved here in 1959. Inside the hall is a bronze statue of Vairocana Buddha which has four faces. The statue was cast on the orders of Emperor Wanli and Empress Dowager Cicheng.
The monastery houses a unique piece of wooden architecture from the Song Dynasty in the Pavilion of the Rotating Library, which was restored in the 20th century. The pavilion houses a rotating bookshelf which used to store holy texts and Buddhist sutras. This rotating book case repository dates back to the 12th century and is the oldest existent rotating repository of its kind. It is said that moving the wheel helps the monks build their spirtual life.
The Buddhist Altar was built during the Qianlong Emperor's reign (1736-1795) as a place where monks gave lectures and attended Buddhist ceremonies. In the middle sits a double-faced bronze statue of Buddha - Amitabha is facing the south, and Yaoshi Buddha is facing north. It was cast in 1493.
This hall was built in 1052 and later restored during the Ming and Qing dynasties. On the platform in the middle sit five clay statues of Buddha. The colourful statue of the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) was rebuilt in 1563. The hall also features some superb but faded wall frescoes.
This temple is also known as Longxing Monastery or Dafo Temple and is the main sight in Zhengding. The monastery was first built in 586 AD, during the Sui Dynasty when it was called Longcang Monastery. One of the oldest stelae on the grounds of the monastery, the "Longcangsi Stele", dates from the year of the monastery's foundation. Much of it was reconstructed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and can still be seen today. The temple was built in order to house a huge 22-metre high bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) which can be found in the temple's main building - the Pavilion of Great Benevolence. The monks residences can be found in the east of the temple complex.
The monastery houses a unique piece of wooden architecture from the Song Dynasty in the Pavilion of the Rotating Library, which was restored in the 20th century. The pavilion houses a rotating bookshelf which used to store holy texts and Buddhist sutras. This rotating book case repository dates back to the 12th century and is the oldest existent rotating repository of its kind.
Open: 8am-5.30pm. Admission: RMB60 (included in the through ticket which can be purchased here).
I seen a photo of it long ago, and at last I found it here, in Zhengding. This is known as one of the most beautiful Guanyin statue in China. The craftmanship is superb, and the colours vivid and alive. A masterpiece!