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Chongfu Temple

The Chongfu Temple is located at the northeast corner of Shuoxian County in Shanxi Province.

The Chongfu Temple, also known as the Big Temple, was built in 665 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and got its present name during Emperor Qianlong's reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Sitting in the north and facing the south, the temple is 200 meters long from south to north, and 117 meters wide from east to west, covering an area of about 23,400 square meters. Starting from the gate, its constructions include God Hall, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the Thousand-Buddha Pavilion, Wenshu Hall, the Underground Treasure Hall, Sanbao Hall, Amitabha Buddha Hall, and Kwan-yin Hall. The orderly, large-scaled temple appears magnificent, with tall cypress trees setting off its red walls and green tiles. 

The God Hall, also called the Hall of Buddha's Warrior Attendant, enshrines four gods and two Buddha's warrior attendants. The statues at the hall have been lost for a long time, and the hall has been turned into a resting place for tourists. The Bell and Drum towers are both two-storied buildings with single-layered eaves on the top. The eaves protrude with simple dougongs built underneath.

The Thousand-Buddha Pavilion, also known as the Scripture Collection Pavilion, once served as a storage place for scriptures. After its renovation in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), 1,000 Buddha statues were placed in the pavilion giving the pavilion its present name. The statues, however, have been destroyed. The two-storied pavilion has a double-eaved roof and a decorative ridge with yellow-, green- and blue-colored glazes that are quite dazzling. The Wenshu Hall and the Underground Treasure Hall sit facing each other in the east and west. The Sanbao Hall, which is five bays long and four bays wide, has a single-eaved roof. Inside the hall is a Buddha statue and its walls are adorned with an estimated 1,000 Buddha figures dating back to the Qing Dynasty.  

The main hall, Amitabha Buddha Hall, was built in 1143 in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). It is seven bays long and four bays wide with single-layered eaves on top. The hall's well-preserved front doors, windows and partition boards are decorated with 15 different kinds of lattice patterns -- a real rarity among China's cultural relics. Huge statues sit on an altar in the hall that is four bays wide. The center statue is Amitabha Buddha with a Kwan-yin to the left, two Bodhisattvas on the right and attendants in the front -- all built in the Jin Dynasty. The four sides of the walls are covered in five-meter-high frescos. The frescos, with Buddha, Bodhisattva and Kwan-yin as its subjects, are painted mainly in red, green and blue of the late Tang Dynasty (618-907) style.   

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