Last Update: 15th October 2020
Originally built in 276, the Xuanmiao Temple with more than 30 halls was the largest Taoist temple in Suzhou in the Western Jin Dynasty (266 – 316). Nowadays, it has around 20 halls. The main hall, Sanqing Hall, rebuilt in 1179, is the largest wooden structure in the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) in regions south of the Yangtze River.
- Chinese Name: Xuanmiaoguan (玄妙观)
- History: originally built in 276
- Things to do there: Photography, Taoism, Architecture
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Architects
- Time required: 1 x hour
Located in Guanqian Street, the center of the Suzhou Old Town, the Xuanmiao Temple is the most popular temple across Suzhou.
The main hall with an area of 1,125 square meters, Sanqing Hall features the exquisite statues of Gods of Sanqing which were created in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279) and have also been well-preserved for more than 800 years. The western wall has 60 bluestone hexahedron pillars. Each side is carved with a statue of supernatural being.
There are 360 statues in total on the pillars. Steles on the walls are also highlights in the hall. In addition, there are more than 10 species of steles well preserved in the temple from the Song Dynasty through the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644) to late Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912). Sometimes, local old ladies dance in front of the hall.
The stone railings on the base of the hall features amazing carvings, such as figures, beasts, birds, landscape, pavilions and so on. All the carvings were created in the Song Dynasty or before the period of time.
Ruyi Gate was originally built in 1458 and rebuilt in 1665. It is also the structure in the Song Dynasty. If you have enough time, it is suggested that you pay short visits to Wenchang Hall, Doumu Pavilion, Shouxing Hall, Leizun Hall and Caishen Hall there.
Taoist priests in the temple also regularly present Feiba Show. It is unique and just exist in the Taoism. The 15-minutes-long show is composed of more than 20 actions. The show is accompanied by live music which changes with the changing actions.
The best time to visit the temple is in the morning.
The best months to visit are from April to October.
A few buses pass by the temple. Thus, there are a few options.
- Rent a vehicle to the Guanqian Street. Then walk to the temple. This is the quickest and most direct option.
- Take Bus 1, Y2, 101, or Bus 38 to the Stop of Guanqianjie (观前街站). Then walk to the temple.
- Opening hours: 07:30 – 17:00 (May 1 – October 7); 07:30 – 16:30 (October 8 – April 30)
- As at 15th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the garden is 10 CNY per person; children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge.
- As at 15th October 2020, the pass ticket for the entrance ticket, Taoist music show and Feiba Show is 35 CNY per person;hildren under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge.
- For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- Please keep quiet in the temple.