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male lion Baiyun Guan 白云观

Baiyun Guan 白云观
White Cloud Temple

Lions guard the two sides of the pailou 牌楼 (páilou) and are again found on each side of the Mountain gate 山门 (Shānmén) within the temple grounds.

The lion is a symbol of power in China. The lion is the king of the animal kingdom. The lion is usually found in front of Daoist temples and monasteries to symbolize the infinite. Lions are always shown in pairs, one female and one male. The female is shown with a lion cub below her foot and the male with a silk ball beneath his. The Daoist interpretation of the symbols is that the male symbolizes the spirit and the female the prosperity and spread of Daoism.

Baiyun Guan has survived through many dynasties and under Jurchen, Mongol, Han, Manchu, and Communist rule. When, in 739, the Tang Emperor Xuan Zong (玄宗 Xuán Zōng) commanded that the monastery be built, it is unlikely that he visualized the extent of his action.

Contents 目录

Pailou 牌楼 (páilou), or decorated archway
Mountain Gate 山门
Wofeng Bridge 窝风桥
Linguan Hall 灵官殿
Wang Lingguan 王灵官
Temple of Three Emperors 三官殿
Lao Lü Temple 老律堂
Seven Immortals 七真
Wang Chongyang 王重阳
Complete Perfection Quanzhen 全真道家
Temple of God Relieving Sufferers 救苦殿
Taiyi 太乙
Temple of Founder Qiu 邱祖殿
Qiu Chuji 丘处机 / Qiu Changchun 长春
Letter from Genghis Khan 成吉思汗 to Qiu Chuji
Qiu Chuji 丘处机 Letter to Genghis Khan
Tianshan Mountains 天山
Samarkand 撒马尔罕
Qiu Chuji returns 丘处机回家
Temple of Four Emperors 四御殿
San Qing Temple 三清阁
Cihang Temple 慈航殿 Guan Yin 觀音
Three Stars Temple 三星殿

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

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Last update: May 2008
© Marilyn Shea, 2008