Yao temple lies in the south to city Linfen province Shanxi. No one knows when the temple was initially established. According to the recording in “Shuijingzhu”: Yao temple lies by the side of Fenhe river and a tombstone lies in front of Yao temple. The old site of Yao temple which lies to the west of Fenhe river moved to east side of fenhe river in Yuankang year of West Jin dynasty. It is calculated the history of Yao temple is over 1600 years. The third year of Gaozong Lizhi of Tang dynasty (658), the site of temple moved to fives miles to south from southwest, it is the currently present Yao temple with a history over 1300 years.
The established area of Yao Temple built by Tang Dynasty covered an area over 700 acres with 400 rooms, in which hall is named as Wensi temple, palace is named as Guangzhai palace and gate is named as Binmu gate. Before Yuan Dynasty to 2 year of Yuan Dynasty, before the renovation, building area, hall name and construction all inherited Song and Tang dynasty style. Construction area was enlarged as named was changed, Yao temple is so dignified and regarded as home for emperor. Yuhuangge located behind Wensi Hall was enlarged, renamed as Zhizhongge, regarded as Yao hall, with present name Guangyun Hall, to the right of Guangyun Hall is re-established Chonghua hall in which worship emperor Yao, Shun, to the left of Guangyun Hall is re-established with Wenming hall in which worship emperor Yu. The three gods are complete in the same palace, but in different halls, Yao Temple is named as three-god temple. Because of magnificent construction, exquisite stature and painting, Yao temple is regards as one of famous interests in Pingyang.
The 34th year of kangxi of Qing Dynasty (1695), there is an earthquake in Linfen and the three god halls in Yao temple were all destroyed. The national treasure paid money for reconstruction. Emperor kangxi wrote steles for the three god hall, “Guangpisibiao” for Yao hall, “Junzhewenming” for Shun Hall and “Wanshiyonglai” for Yu hall. Before Qing Dynasty, every April 28th Chinese year calendar, emperor Yao was worshiped and temple fair was held. After emperor Kangxi stationed Pingyang, it was regulated every March 18th of Chinese calendar year was the emperor fair, lasting one month, for worshiping by Chinese.
In August in the 3rd year of Xianfeng of Qing Dynasty (1853), In order to defend against Taiping Army went north, governor Pingyang Heweichi fired residence outside south gate, and the fire extended to Yao temple and halls in Yao temple were all destroyed badly. Destroyed and then renovated, Yao Temple was in continuous renovation according to original version. Since then ruined by Japanese army, demolished by nationalist army, Yao temple was quite desolated.
In 1965, Yao temple is ranked as Provincial key cultural relics protection unit by the people’s government in province Shanxi.
In 1987, government paid for renovating the main building “Guangyun Hall”. Unluckily on 4th of April, criminals fired Guangyun Hall. After the case, people in whole society gathered tens of millions for renovating halls. After one year effort, in 1999, based on the renovated Guangyun Hall, rebuilt three Hall Gate of Yao, Shun, Yu and the Yi Gate in the central route of Hall Yao, at same time rebuilt the sleeping hall of emperor Yao.
In year 2000, Yao Temple added 21-ton weight Chinese emperor Yao bell and the biggest drum of Guinness, and the next year, built drum and bell tower.
In year 2001, the people’s government of district Yaodu of city Linfen issued the theme “ Based on Yao temple, extended outside”. Starting from May, and finishing in October, built a 100 thousand square-meter Yao market, in which from the north is Gongqian market and Huabiao market and from the south is Guanli market and culture business area including Capital Yao which symbolizes Chinese civilization, the largest national Miniature landscape terrain and the first nationalist thousand family name memory mural.
In 2002, government of District Yao rebuilt Yao temple according to the versions of Ming and Qing dynasty. Shun hall and Yu hall, together with statue of Shun and Yu were rebuilt too. Historically statue of emperor Yao and four big officers were remolded by bronze. Wufeng tower was rebuilt and a 300-meter long Yao mural, a dragon and phoenix path carved from bluestone in the central route, a 10-thousand square meter area covered with bluestone in the hall were all newly constructed . Approved by Shanxi Provincial Bureau of cultural relics, Raojing pavilion regained its original version of Yuan dynasty, and there lie 26 imitation stone carving of pottery period meanwhile the temple is covered with all lush greens mainly with cypress and pine trees.