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Dule Temple

Dule Temple

Tour Code : C2376
Type : Historic sites
City / Province : Tianjin
Built in : Liao Dynasty


A masterpiece of ancient Chinese wooden architecture. The oldest standing Buddhist temple that is over 1000 thousand years old made of timber holding immense architectural and historical significance as a recognized UNESCO heritage site. The temple is also a bank of information providing a wide range of materials for research. It was named after a spring located behind and has survived 28 earthquakes!

Dule Temple


The temple was setup back in the Tang dynasty during the rule of Emperor Xuaxong with all its features designed by local craftsmen and architects using Tang architectural and curving technology. The oldest structures that are still surviving are the Central Pavilion, two timber frame buildings and the front gate built during the Liao Dynasty when the temple was being renovated in the second year of Tonghe Emperor’s reign. The gate of the temple is made up of a single eave roof from the ancient times and was constructed on low lying stairs at 16 meters by 8 meters.


The temple covers a total area of 16,000 square meters and most of the temple buildings were ruined during the 841-846 reign of Emperor Wuzong who passed a policy of cracking down on Buddhism. Dule Temple became famous both locally and abroad to the point of being researched and published by a Japanese scholar, Guan Yezhen and Chinese scholar Liang Sicheng.



Major attractions and activities to do on a visit


Goddess of Mercy Pavilion 

This goddess stands at 16 meters high looking elegant, graceful and composed. It is one of the largest clay Buddha statues in China standing on Xumi seat with their heads reaching the top of the third floor surrounded by ten other small avatars forming a scene of eleven head avatars.



There are life sized murals on the Guanyin and Shanmen pavilions on the east and west sides of the gate and on all four walls of the Guanyin displaying heavenly kings, providers and Buddhas. Visiting this temple really is an overwhelming sensation with hints of color and art as well as a rich window of learning about Buddhism. 



This is the main entrance to the Temple and it is recognized as the main Mountain Gate existing from ancient times with steady pillars and beams. It is believed that the plaque of the mountain gate is the subject of Yan Song.


Qianlong Palace

A resting place for Qing Emperors set up in 1753 made up of one main hall and three subsidiary buildings. Here there is a huge collection of poems and inscriptions written by Qianlong Emperors when they were hosted in Dule Temple. In addition to this is a vast array of calligraphy pieces tracing from past dynasties like Tang Yin, Wang Xizhi, Su Shi, Yan Zhenqing, Mifu, Huang Tingjian, Caixiang, Zhao Mengfu, Dong Qichang among many others.

Travel Map

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Dule Temple Photos

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