Tianning Temple —One of the Oldest Monasteries in Beijing

Tianning Temple

Photo 1: Tianning Temple, Beijing

        Tianning Temple was built in Emperor Xiaowen years of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the original buildings are on grand scale, divided into the Middle, East, and West Road. Now only the middle road exists, there is Mountain Gate Hall (Wei Tuo Hall), “Tianning Temple built by imperial order” was written on the top of the hall gate, the Maitreya Buddha statue is placed for worship in the front of the hall, and Wei Tuo holding a pestle stands behind.

The Receiving Hall

Photo 2: The Receiving Hall of Tianning Temple

        The main hall of Tianning Temple is Receiving Hall, five rooms wide and three rooms deep, the Receiving Buddha is consecrated here, meaning “meet and guide all believers to Buddhism and get extensive Buddhism connection”. In front of the hall, there are several inscriptions, including “rebuilding Tianning Temple monument” of Qianlong years in the Qing Dynasty. the Buddhist Relics Tower Court is behind the Receiving Hall, tall pagodas stand upright in the courtyard. The east and west side halls of the Buddhist Relics Tower Court are Pharmacist Hall and Amitabha Hall.

Tianning Temple Tower

Photo 3: Tianning Temple Tower

        Tianning Temple Tower is one of the most exquisite ancient towers in Beijing, built in the Liao Dynasty, is a 13-floors brick-made octagonal tower characterized as solid structure and dense-eaves, 57.8 meters high.

Tianning Temple

Photo 4: The Tower Body of Tianning Temple is Embossed with Vajra Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, Cloud Dragon and So On

relief carvings of Tianning Temple

Photo 5: The Relief Carvings on the Tower Body of Tianning Temple

        The base of the tower is a square platform, the bottom is Xumi pedestal, tower body is embossed with Vajra Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva, cloud dragon and so on, vivid. Tianning Temple embodies the architectural style of dense-eaves brick tower of the Liao Dynasty in the overall shape and local techniques. Tower is generally “a pagoda of seven stories”, thirteen stories is the highest level, generally Royal Chartered, Tianning Temple is the thirteen storied.

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