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Baoshan Temple should be put at the top of every visitor's must-do list. Surrounded by erect pine trees, the Buddhist temple is an area of hush and contemplation. Wind bells chime on the roof and monks flit into mediation rooms.
The original building was built in 1511, known as Tang's Villa, but Tang's descendant later changed it into a temple. The past 500 years have seen it destroyed and rebuilt time and time again.
In 2006, a new Baoshan Temple was constructed adjacent to the old one. It is in late Tang architectural style and constructed from African rosewood. Shiliang, the abbot, says more than 13,000 square meters of timber have been used in its construction. There are plans to further add to it - a temple park complete with a wooden pagoda will be built over the next two years.
Shiliang says the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) was the heyday of Buddhism, and timber structures from that era were very developed.
"Most of the old temples that we can see today date from the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties," he says. "Thus, when we decided to build a new temple, we want something different, something with more character."
The temple has been constructed without any nails, instead using mortise and tenon joints to connect the timber.
Unfortunately, the wooden structures of the past made them susceptible to war and natural disasters.
Nevertheless, the abbot hopes the temple will stand the test of time. "When designing the temple, the abbot was really dedicated to make it last for thousands of years as a new heritage," says a local official.
In comparison to the buildings that rise abruptly from the ground, this temple has taken a long time to complete. "Every single detail should come from some reference as far as possible. We wanted it to look like just the Late Tang style, as it should be, " the abbot says.
Even the gray tiles on the roof took 15 days to make, he explains.
Admission: 10 yuan