White Cloud Taoism Temple is located at Xibianmen City Gate,southwest of Beijing.It has an area of 6,000 square meters with a floor space of 10,000 square meters.It is the chief temple of Quan Zhen Taoist Sect and one of the three big center temples for the Quan Zhen Taoist Sect.But now,it is the place where the Chinese Taoist Association and the Chinese Taoist College are located.
According to the historical records,the temple was first built in 741 during the Tang Dynasty,and was known as Tianchang Temple.At that time,Laozi was treated as the chief deity of Taoism and the founding philosopher of Taoism.In order to enshrine Laozi,a temple named Tianchang Temple was built by Emperor Xuan Zong of the Tang Dynasty.It has a stone statue of the seated figure of Laozi in it.Because the Emperor’s birthday was called Tianchang Festival,the temple was called Tianchang Temple at that time
During the jin Dynasty,the Tianchang Temple was destroyed in a big fire and renamed the Taiji Palace in 1203.But the stone statue of Lao zi survived,and we can see it in the exhibition hall today
In 1224,during the Yuan Dynasty,the founder of the Longmen Subsect,Qiu changchun,lived in the temple.He and his disciples rebuilt the temple and it took on a new look.Then,in 1227,the Yuan Emperor Genghis Khan renamed the palace”Changchun Palace”.After Qiu’s daath in 1228,his disciples built a temple to the east of the Changchun Palace caled White Cloud Taoist Temple and buried his remains under the temple’s Chushun hall. After that,the Longmen Subsect of the Quan Zhen Taoist Sect treated the While Cloud Taoist Temple as the chief temple of the Quan Zhen Taoist Sect in memory of Qiu,the founder of the longmen Subsect under the Quan Zhen Taoist Sect
Since the Changchu Palace was mostly burned down in a fire during a war in the late Yuan Dynasty,only the White Cloud Taoist Temple,in the eastern part of the Changchun Palace,was left. In the Ming Dynasty,Zhu Di,ordered that the temple was rebuilt again in 1394.After that ,the Whilte Cloud Taoist Temple inherited the fame and merits of the preceding temples.
At the beginning of the Qing Dynasty,Wang Changyue,the seventh generation of the longmen Subsect of the Quan Zhen Taoist Sect,came to Beijing as the abbot in the While Cloud Taoist Temple.Since then,the temple has become more andm ore popular,and after it was rebuilt and enlarged many times under the reign of Qing Emperors KangXi,Qian long and Guang Xu,it has become the size of today
After the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,the government allocated large sums of money to renovated the While Cloud Taoist Temple in 1956,1981 and 1998.Now it is a historical site under the protection of the Beijing Municipal Government,and the offices of the Chinese Taoist Association and the chinese Taoist College are housed inside.
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