Jingyang Monastery Complex


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Jingyans (Chinese ex. 静安 寺, pinyin: Jìng'ānsì, literally: “Temple of Peace and Tranquility”) - a Buddhist temple-monastery complex in the Jing'an district in Shanghai, China (next to the Jingyangsi metro station of the same name).

The buildings

The year of foundation of the temple is considered 247 year BC. e. (era of the Three Kingdoms), it was built in the kingdom of U. Initially, it was located near the Suzhou River and transferred to its current place in 1216 during the Southern Song Dynasty.

During the Qing Dynasty in 1880, the temple was significantly rebuilt.

The buildings

The three main southern-style temples, each with its own courtyard, date from the time of the last reconstruction (1880):

  • Temple of Heavenly Kings
  • Temple of the Three Saints
  • Temple of Good Deeds
  • Precious Temple of the Great Victor, or Main Hall
  • East of the Main Hall - Guanyin Temple with a statue of a camphor tree goddess 6.2 meters high and weighing about 5 tons
  • Opposite is the Jade Buddha Temple with a 3.8-meter statue of a seated jade Buddha.
  • Rector's Chambers
  • Emperor Hongu’s bronze bell (Ming Dynasty) weighing 3.5 tons
  • Stone statues of Buddha of the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD)

Photo and description

Jingyans, or the Temple of Peace and Tranquility, is the center of Buddhism in Shanghai and is the oldest temple complex located in the Jing'an district. Jingyans was founded back in 247 AD, when the era of the Three Kingdoms reigned in ancient China. Initially, the temple was located on the banks of the Sujouhe River, and in 1216 it was moved to the city by order of the emperor, who belonged to the Southern Song Dynasty.

During the reign of the Qing Dynasty, the buildings of the complex were subjected to significant reconstruction and new architectural elements appeared on the territory of the temple. However, the final restoration of Jingansa dates back to 2010 and is considered the most successful, since the masters managed not only to almost completely restore all the buildings, but also maintain the overall concept.

Currently, the center of the complex is considered to be three monasteries (Temple of Heavenly Kings, Temple of the Three Saints, Temple of Good Deeds), made in the classical Buddhist style. Near each of the temples is a small courtyard around which other attractions are scattered. Jingyansi is famous among tourists for its unique statue of the goddess Guanyin made of camphor wood, a bronze bell belonging to Emperor Hongu, the Jade Buddha monument, as well as numerous Buddha stelae made of stone.

Of great cultural value to Buddhists is the Main Hall, since it is here that the main ritual actions are carried out related to offerings to the deities. For tourists, the territory of the temple complex is open daily, however, when visiting Jingyansa, you must strictly follow the established rules.

Jin'an Temple in Shanghai (Shanghai Jing'an Temple)

Temple Address: 1686 Nanjing W Rd, JingAnSi, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200,000

There is no limit to my disappointment. Firstly, having been in China, I did not see the famous Chinese wall. And, secondly, being in the square next to the Jinan Temple, I could not fully appreciate all of its charms, because was there already at dusk and the temple itself was closed. Going around it on the outer perimeter, I could not even imagine how big it is and how rich it looks. And this is not to mention his story, which stretches all the way from 247 onwards. e.

Leaving the subway at Jing'an Temple station, we were simply blinded by the lighting of the shopping center, especially since it was the first evening in China and we still could not imagine how it looks at night.

And even more so, I could not imagine that the name of the street "Nanking" would say something to me. The thing is that the temple is located in the city center at the intersection of Nanjing and Huashan streets.

(photo from
Namely, on the street of Nankinskaya a couple of days later, the artists of the ensemble Karusel from Salaspils performed under the direction of Tamara Eiferova, with whom I, in fact, came to China as a mother from one of its members.

Having looked at the lights, which in such numbers in Latvia can not be found even at Christmas, I could not have thought that such a story would be hidden among modern megacities. And this is not just one building, as it seemed to me at the beginning:

And a whole Buddhist temple and monastery complex, the chain of buildings of which form a closed square, creating a kind of enclave, fenced from modern Shanghai and preserving a fraction of primitiveness and holiness.

(photo from

With the help of google translator I managed to get some information about the temple, taken from its official website:

The history of China is rich in events and faces. It is very difficult for an uninformed person to understand it. And therefore, without going into its jungle, I can only say that the temple was originally in a different place and it was called even differently. What difference does it make? Its name for us still does not say anything.

At the place where he is now, he was only in 1216 during the reign of the Song Dynasty. At the same time, according to one version, the Zhenzhusi temple was founded.

Throughout its long history of existence, the temple has been modified many times. But the most significant damage to the temple caused because China’s “cultural revolution” of the 60-70s of the 20th century, as a result of which all artifacts were looted and the temple itself was burned.

Restoration work began only in 1984, being a year earlier included in the list of objects protected by the state.

The temple and monastery complex consists, as I understand it, of several buildings. In the main of them, I suspect, in this:

(photo from
its main value is a portrait of Buddha weighing 11 tons. According to some, this is the largest and heaviest image of the founder of Buddhism in all of mainland China. So heavy that the wall to which they tried to install it simply collapsed:

Another attraction of the Jinan temple complex is the bronze bell, cast in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty:

My daughter and I could see all this with our own eyes if we were there at least an hour earlier. Jinan Temple is open to visitors daily from 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. And who would have thought that at 6 pm they were already dark.

But twilight also has its own charm, agree? Moreover, in such a city the main charm of which appears only at night.