This is the first temple you come to along the central route up Tai Shan. It features a large statue of Guandi, the Taoist God of War but is unknown when the temple was built. In the 13th year of Emperor Qianlong (1748), he bestowed a huge horizontal inscribed board with four large characters: " Shen Wei Ju Zhen". There is a stage here that was built in 1671 to play and hold holiday celebrations.
As its name suggests, this is the first gate you come to when you first start to climb the steps. It was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Li Shude, the head of Shandong province in the Qing dynasty, rebuilt it in 1717. On either side are "The Wonder of the World" stele written by Yang Keda and "The Beginning Place of Eighteen Mountain Bend Stairways" stele written by Sunjiashu, officer in TongZhou city in the Ming dynasty. Just in front of it is a 4 pillar gate which commemorates Confucius' visit to Tai Shan.
This palace with its wine-coloured walls was rebuilt during the late Ming dynasty in 1626. It is divided into two courtyards. The west courtyard is the Taoist temple where people offer sacrifices to the goddess of Tai Shan (Bixia) while the east courtyard is where the Maitreya Buddha is worshipped.
This is the main entrance to Tai Shan when taking the central climbing route where there's a ticket office. It was built in 1620 and is where people offered sacrifices to Wangmu, the heavenly queen mother and the Azure Cloud Goddess (Bixia).
It is not known when this palace was built but it is known that it was once a Taoist temple and managed by an abbot nun after it was rebuilt in 1542 when it was called "Dragon Spring Nunnery". It's a charming little palace with halls and lots of stele.
Known as the "Three Officials Temple", it is not known when it was built. In the Ming dynasty it was known as the "Human Ancestor Temple". Later the name was changed to the Sanguan Temple where people offered sacrifices to the official of heaven, official of earth and official of water.
It is said that Emperor Cheng Yaojin of the Lu Kingdom in the Tang dynasty led many people to climb Tai Shan and planted four scholar trees here. The trees went through the process of growth, development, aging and death with two of them dying in quick succession before the Republic of China was founded. Owing to frequent rainstorms and years of acuminating water, the trunk of this tree rotted and fell down on July 10th 1987 but the only other one remains alive.
This pavilion, (translated as "Sky-in-the-Ewer Tower"), was first built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and then expanded in 1747 during the Qing dynasty. Because the shape of the mountain from this viewpoint resembles an "ewer" (a large wide mouthed jug or pitcher), Taoists refer to it as an "Ewer Sky".
This temple is also known as "The Temple of Three Great Goddesses". It was rebuilt during the Ming and Qing dynasties but it isn't known when it was actually built. It is the only Buddhist temple on Tai Shan and features the Guanyin Buddha, Wenshu Buddha and Puxian Buddha inside.
As its name suggest, this gate marks the halfway point of the climb up Tai Shan but it actually is slightly higher up than halfway at 847 metres when the mountain is 1532 metres, so you can rest assured that you are slightly higher than halfway up at this point, although the worst is yet to come!
This palace lies just below the Jade Emperor Temple near the summit of Tai Shan. It was first built during the Ming dynasty in 1586. Here people offered sacrifices to the Green Emperor who is also known as the God of Spring. The ancient Chinese thought that Tai Shan was in the east of the world where spring occurred and that all living things on earth began in this season, which is why the palace was built here.
This stele is located in front of the Jade Emperor Temple at the very summit of Tai Shan. It is unknown when it was erected but some people say it was set up by Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty (221-211 BC). Others think it was set up by Wudi, an emperor in the Han dynasty (140-88 BC) when he came to Tai Shan to offer sacrifices to its god.
This famous temple lies at the very summit of Tai Shan and so is highly regarded for pilgrims. It is unknown when it was built but it is known that it was rebuilt in the Ming dynasty between 1469 and 1487. In the main hall people offer sacrifices to the Jade emperor. Here was once the place where emperors and kings offered sacrifices to heaven when they ascended Tai Shan. You'll see a huge number of padlocks chained to some railings in the courtyard which offer prayers. You have to pay a small entrance fee of RMB5 to enter into the temple despite paying the overall Tai Shan ticket fee.
The Grand View Peak gets its name because there are a number of inscriptions of successive dynasties on the cliff. The inscriptions were created by the emperors in the Tang, Song and Qing dynasties when they came to confer titles to Tai Shan and offer sacrifices to it.
The Azure Cloud Temple lies at the end of Heavenly Street near the summit of Tai Shan. It is where people offer sacrifices to the Azure Cloud Goddess, Bixia. It was built in the Song dynasty in 1009 with special construction materials. The main hall is covered with copper tiles while the side halls are covered with iron tiles so as to protect the halls from strong winds.