Buddhist temple in Beijing reopens after five-year renovation

Picture: Beijing Tourism Facebook

Picture: Beijing Tourism Facebook

Published Sep 19, 2022


Beijing - A Buddhist temple built and expanded during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911) in western Beijing has reopened after a five-year renovation.

Wanshou Temple (the Temple of Longevity), available for visiting since September 16, underwent the fifth large-scale repair in its history, according to Wang Dan, the curator of the Beijing Art Museum. It is housed inside the temple.

Built during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), the temple is composed of a complex of Buddhist buildings, gardens and imperial palaces.

Wang said the museum was closed in 2017, making way for the renovation project that started in 2018.

An area of more than 10 000 square metres in the temple was repaired during the renovation, where wall paintings and Buddha statues have been restored with glittering colours and buildings with a new brilliance.

Wang said the museum staged five exhibitions in the temple, with illustrated photos on themes of the history of Wanshou Temple, the heritages of Buddhist statues, antiques, traditional furniture, calligraphy, and painting works of the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).

“At the exhibitions, more than 350 cultural relics and treasures are on display, including jade, porcelain, gold, lacquer, wooden and ivory items, and imperial art collections. Nearly 70% of the relics are on display for the first time,” said Wang.

In addition to the repair of historic buildings and relics, new facilities such as digital displays, a bookstore, and a cultural and recreational space have been set up.

Wang said the museum plans to add a post office and open more exhibition rooms for cultural relics, such as traditional Chinese clothing and writing materials, porcelain, jade items and ancient coins.

“The space in the temple would better serve for learning traditional culture and displaying China’s historical and cultural heritage,” Wang said.