Previous Home Next
detail of altar White Cloud Temple 北京白云观

Baiyun Guan 白云观
White Cloud Temple
Temple of Four Emperors 四御殿

The Temple of Four Emperors 四御殿 (Sì Yù Diàn) has five statues. The statues are made of clay and decorated with gold embedded in glue. The center statue is of the Jade Emperor 玉皇上帝 (Yùhuáng Shàngdì). The Jade Emperor is the greatest power in the heavens and is assisted by the Four Emperors:

Gouchen Shanggong Tianhuang Emperor,
勾陈上宫天皇大帝 (Gōuchén Shànggōng Tiānhuáng Dàdì)
South-pole Immortal Emperor
南极长生大帝 (Nánjí Chángshēng Dàdì)
Celestial Zhongtian Ziwei North-pole Emperor
万星教主中天紫微北极大帝 (Wànxīng Jiàozhǔ Zhōng tiān Zǐwēi Běijí Dàdì)
Houtu Huang Diqi
承天效法后土皇地祗 (Chéngtiān Xiàofǎ Hòutǔ Huáng Dìqí.

The Deity of the Higher Dimension takes care of spirit matters and the heavens, the South-Pole Emperor is in charge of longevity and the continuation or reproduction of all things. He is often depicted as an old man with a high, broad forehead. The North-Pole Emperor takes care of the North and South poles, all the stars, and the seasons of the year. The Hou Tu Deity is female. She balances yin and yang and is in charge of the beauty of all living things, including the rivers and mountains.

You can see two of the Emperors behind the altar. The altar itself is decorated with figures of the gods above an intertwined dragon decoration. The canopy (detail above) uses dragons, birds, and flowers to create its design.

altar White Cloud Temple 北京白云观

China Index >> Beijing History in Pictures >> Index White Cloud Temple Baiyun Guan

Click on a picture or use the arrows at the top to navigate through the site.
Last update: October 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009