Yao Temple in Linfen city, Shanxi province [Photo/VCG]
Yao Temple was initially built during the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316), and then renovated in the Tang (618-907), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
Yao Temple, which covers 5.33 hectares, was built to honor Emperor Yao (c.24th-23th century BC), one of the most respected emperors in Chinese history. He was much respected for his humility, unpretentiousness and caring devotion to his country and his people.
The temple, with more than 100 halls and rooms, was used to hold memorial ceremonies for the legendary sage-king. The main buildings include the Five Phoenix Palace (built during the Qing Dynasty) and Guanyun Hall, which features a 2.8-meter-tall multicolored sculpture of Emperor Yao.
Between these two buildings is a platform with a well. It's said that this well was dug by Yao and that it was the first well in China, from which people learned how to dig wells to tap underground water.
In the gardens of the Temple is a drum which is believed to be the largest in the world as well as a stele built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), which is an important source of information about a major earthquake which happened in ancient times.
The temple was listed as a national 4A tourist attraction in 2005.
Address: Qinshunan Road, Yaodu district, Linfen city, Shanxi province
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