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Home Shanxi Travel Guide Pingyao Travel Guide Zhenguo Temple – A UNESCO World Heritage

Zhenguo Temple – A UNESCO World Heritage

Shanxi in China, an ancient land, is one of the most important cradles of Chinese civilization. It has a long history and splendid culture. Temple culture is an important part.

Zhenguo Temple is a millennium-old temple, located in Haodong Village, about 13km away the northeast of Pingyao in Shanxi Province. It is a Buddhist temple and was formerly named as Jingcheng Temple, and later changed to Zhenguo Temple in 1540 AD.

This temple was built in the Tang Dynasty and is famous for its ancient wooden buildings and sculptures. As a UNESCO World Heritage, Zhenguo Temple shows the unique architectural styles of Tang, Song, and Ming. Here tourists will have an opportunity to explore China’s rich history and culture.

With its serene atmosphere, complex details, and exquisite techniques of wooden structures, sculptures, and murals, Zhenguo Temple has been a must-visit site for Buddhism lovers and Chinese culture lovers during their Pingyao tours.


Zhenguo Temple Facts

  • In Chinese: 镇国寺
  • Location: Haodong Village, about 10km away northeast of Pingyao Ancient City, Shanxi Province, China.
  • Opening time: 8:30 am –5:30 pm.
  • Ticket price: CNY 25 yuan/person.
  • Time needed: 1 hour.
  • Best visiting time: Spring and Autumn.
  • Best for: Architecture lovers, Buddhism lovers, and history lovers.
Pingyao Zhenguo Temple
Zhenguo Temple

What to See and Do in Zhenguo Temple

1. Wooden Buildings and Sculptures:

Zhenguo Temple is famous for its ancient wooden buildings and sculptures, and some can date back to the Tang Dynasty. Tourists will be amazed by these buildings’ complex details and outstanding techniques, which reflect the integration of different dynasties’ architectural styles.

2. Murals and Paintings:

This temple is also the collection site of murals and paintings, which depict the Buddhist scriptures and scenes in Chinese mythology. Through these artworks, tourists will have a general view of China’s rich cultural relics and ideology.

3. Buddhist Rituals:

The temple is an active worship place. Tourists can witness or attend various Buddhist rituals, such as chanting sutras, meditation, and praying.

4. Serene Atmosphere:

When traveling to Pingyao, visitors will have an opportunity to relax their hearts and reflect minds in Zhenguo Temple due to its serene atmosphere and quiet and beautiful surrounding environment. So Zhenguo Temple is highly recommended.

5. UNESCO World Heritage Relics:

Zhenguo Temple, designated a UNESCO World Heritage, is an important cultural and historical landmark, that provides a unique perspective for tourists to know China’s history, culture and spirit.

Pingyao Zhenguo Temple Paintings
Paintings in Zhenguo Temple

Best Time to Visit Zhenguo Temple

It is better to visit Zhenguo Temple in Spring and Autumn. At that time, the weather is nice, and the natural scenery is beautiful. In Winter, Zhenguo Temple has a unique charm, and it looks like one light ink painting. You can fully concentrate on feeling the deep cultural deposit of Buddhist culture, appreciating the essence of ancient arts, and viewing the intriguing scenery of nature.


How to Get to Zhenguo Temple

Zhenguo Temple has a superior geographical location, only 15km away from Pingyao Ancient City. The traffic is convenient and it is easy for tourists to visit.

The most convenient way to Zhenguo Temple is by private car or by taxi. It takes about 20 minutes to the city center of Pingyao.

Or, tourists can take the No. 9 Bus from Pingyao County to Zhenguo Temple. The ticket price is CNY 4 yuan/person. It takes about 30 minutes.


Nearby Attractions of Zhenguo Temple

  • Pingyao Ancient City: It is a well-preserved ancient city, about 6km away northeast of Shuanglin Temple. It shows the architectural style, urban planning, and financial history of the Ming and Qing Dynasty.
  • Shuanglin Temple: It is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage, about 6km away southwest of Pingyao Ancient City. It is famous for its collection of more than 2,000 pieces of Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing color sculptures.
  • Qiao’s Family Compound: It is a quadrangle dwelling of the Qing Dynasty, about 35km away north of Shuanglin Temple. There are delicate sculptures, historical relics, and cultural exhibitions. It is also the shooting place of Raise the Red Lantern.
  • Zhangbi Ancient Castle: Zhangbi Ancient Castle, about 40km away southeast of Shuanglin Temple, is an ancient castle combined with military, religious, and astronomical functions. It owns a complex underground tunnel system, temple, and observatory.
  • Wang’s Family Compound: It is a well-preserved quadrangle dwelling of the Qing Dynasty, about 35km away south of Shuanglin Temple. There are delicate sculptures, historical relics, and cultural exhibitions. It is one of the largest and most classical residential complexes in Shanxi Province.

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