Longquan Monastery of the Phoenix Ridge2016-11-21 11:14:31Share:
Longquan Monastery is located at the foot of the Phoenix Ridge, Haidian district, a magnificent mountain range in western Beijingwith layers of steep peaks overlooking its downtown region. First built in the early Yingli years of the Liao Dynasty in 957, with a history spanning over 1,000 years, this sacred temple has undergone myriad changes and transformations since its conception. Its history mirrors the ups and downs of China’s extensive history.
The monastery was neglected during the chaotic wars of the Liao and Jin dynasties (907-1125; 1115-1234, respectively), briefly renovated during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and fell into a gradual decline until the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the latter years of Emperor Qianlong's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the local administration of Changping exerted much effort in rebuilding the temple, which was seated in the west and had an eastern exposure, so that it was facing south. Finally, during the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), when the country was facing domestic turbulence and foreign invasion, Longquan Monastery once again faded into the backdrop of Beijing’s consciousness. In the early days of the PRC and China’s Cultural Revolution, the temple had only a dozen rooms which were strategically utilized for civilian purposes.
On April 11th, 2005, Longquan Monastery was officially reopened for Buddhist services. It has since become the first Buddhist monastery to operate in accordance with the Three Jewels in the Haidian district of Beijing since the establishment of the PRC. Today it offers an eclectic monastic education in multiple languages!
In the main courtyard, two one-thousand-year-old gingko trees and two cypress trees of similar age have witnessed the whirlwind of vicissitudes through which the monastery has gone.
At the entrance is the Golden Dragon Bridge, the oldest single-arch stone bridge in Beijing. It is still in good condition today, and was built with donations collected by the Venerable Master Jisheng, the first abbot of the monastery. A stupa in his honor has been erected in the east of the monastery.
Hidden in the Phoenix Ridge, there are also a number of well-known Buddhist meditation caves in walking distance from the temple.
Source: Voice of Longquan
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