Tianning Temple (Beijing)

Last updated
Tianning Temple
Tianning Temple Pagoda.jpg
Brick and stone pagoda of the Tianning Temple
Religion
Affiliation Buddhism
Location
Location Beijing
Country China
Geographic coordinates 39°53′37″N116°20′24″E / 39.8937°N 116.34°E / 39.8937; 116.34 Coordinates: 39°53′37″N116°20′24″E / 39.8937°N 116.34°E / 39.8937; 116.34
Architecture
Completed1119-1120

The Tianning Temple (simplified Chinese : ; traditional Chinese : ; pinyin : Tiān níng ) is a Buddhist temple complex located in Xicheng District of Beijing, in northern China.

Contents

The temple contains the 12th-century Pagoda of Tianning Temple. The 8 sided pagoda is of the Liao Dynasty, built from around 1100 to 1119 or 1120 CE, shortly before the Liao Dynasty was conquered by the Jin dynasty.

Architecture

Relief sculpture on pagoda's southern facade. Tianning Pagoda (south panel).jpg
Relief sculpture on pagoda's southern facade.
A sign-plaque over the temple's front gate. Tianning Temple1.JPG
A sign−plaque over the temple's front gate.

This thirteen story, 57.8 m (189 ft) tall, octagonal-based Chinese pagoda is made of brick and stone, yet imitates the design of wooden-constructed pagodas from the era by featuring ornamental dougong (bracket supports). It rests on a large square platform, with the bottom portion of the pagoda taking on the shape of a sumeru pedestal.

The pagoda features a veranda with banisters, yet is entirely solid with no hollow inside or staircase as some pagodas feature. Other ornamental designs include arched doorways and heavenly Buddhist guardians. Its design inspired that of later pagodas, such as the similar Ming Dynasty era Pagoda of Cishou Temple of Beijing built in 1576.

The structure and ornamentation have remained the same since the pagoda was built, but the 1976 Tangshan earthquake caused the original pearl-shaped steeple of the pagoda to break off and fall. It has since been restored. The temple grounds surrounding the pagoda have also been renovated and rebuilt several times over the course of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The architectural historian Liang Sicheng (1901–1972)—known for discovering and documenting the oldest existent wooden structures still standing in China—lauded the Pagoda of Tianning Temple as a pristine architectural design of antiquity.

See also

Related Research Articles

Tanzhe Temple building in Mentougou District, China

The Tanzhe Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the Western Hills, a mountainous area in western Beijing. At one time, it was one of the most important temples in the nation. The temple is located near China National Highway 108 in the Mentougou District of Beijing.

Chinese architecture Style of architecture

Chinese architecture demonstrates an architectural style that developed over millennia in China, before spreading out to influence architecture all throughout East Asia. Since the solidification of the style in the early imperial period, the structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained largely unchanged, the main changes being only the decorative details. Starting with the Tang dynasty, Chinese architecture has had a major influence on the architectural styles of Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Vietnam, and a varying amount of influence on the architectural styles of Southeast and South Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and The Philippines. Chinese architecture is typified by various features; such as, bilateral symmetry, use of enclosed open spaces, the incorporation of ideas related to feng shui such as directional hierarchies, a horizontal emphasis, and the allusion to various cosmological, mythological, or other symbolism. Chinese architecture traditionally classifies structures according to type, ranging from pagodas to palaces. In part because of an emphasis on the use of wood, a relatively perishable material, and due to a de-emphasis on major monumental structures built of less-organic but more durable materials, much of the historical knowledge of Chinese architecture derives from surviving miniature models in ceramic and published planning diagrams and specifications. Some of the architecture of China shows the influence of other types or styles from outside of China, such as the influences on mosque structures originating in the Middle East. Although displaying certain unifying aspects, rather than being completely homogeneous, Chinese architecture has many types of variation based on status or affiliation, such as dependence on whether the structures were constructed for emperors, commoners, or used for religious purposes. Other variations in Chinese architecture are shown in the varying styles associated with different geographic regions and in ethnic architectural design.

The architecture of China is as old as Chinese civilization. From every source of information—literary, graphic, exemplary—there is strong evidence testifying to the fact that the Chinese have always enjoyed an indigenous system of construction that has retained its principal characteristics from prehistoric times to the present day. Over the vast area from Chinese Turkistan to Japan, from Manchuria to the northern half of French Indochina, the same system of construction is prevalent; and this was the area of Chinese cultural influence. That this system of construction could perpetuate itself for more than four thousand years over such a vast territory and still remain a living architecture, retaining its principal characteristics in spite of repeated foreign invasions—military, intellectual, and spiritual—is a phenomenon comparable only to the continuity of the civilization of which it is an integral part.

Zhengding County County in Hebei, Peoples Republic of China

Zhengding, originally Zhending, is a county in the southwestern Hebei Province, North China, located approximately 260 km (160 mi) south of Beijing. It is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Shijiazhuang, the capital of the province, and has a population of 594,000. Zhengding has been an important religious center for more than 1,000 years, from - at least - the times of the Sui dynasty to the Qing dynasty. It is the founding place of several major schools of Chan Buddhism, however, many former religious building complexes have been severely damaged throughout history. A noted temple is the Longxing Monastery, where the historical building ensemble has been preserved almost intact. Furthermore, four famous pagodas, each with its own architectural style, are still standing.

Guangxiao Temple (Guangzhou) Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Guangxiao Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou, the capital of China's Guangdong Province. As the special geographical position, Guangxiao Temple often acted as a stopover point for Asian missionary monks in the past. It also played a central role in propagating various elements of Buddhism, including precepts school, Chan (Zen), Shingon Buddhism, and Pure Land. In this temple, Huineng, the sixth Chinese patriarch of Chan Buddhism, made his first public Chan lecture and was tonsured, and Amoghavajra, a Shingon Buddhist master, gave his first teaching of esoteric Buddhism. Many Buddhist scriptures were also translated here, including those translated by Yijing and the Shurangama-sūtra translated by Paramitiin (般剌密諦).

Longhua Temple Buddhist temple in Shanghai, China

The Longhua Temple is a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha in Shanghai. Although most of the present day buildings date from later reconstructions, the temple preserves the architectural design of a Song dynasty (960–1279) monastery of the Chan School. It is the largest, most authentic and complete ancient temple complex in the city of Shanghai.

Chinese pagoda traditional Chinese structure

Chinese pagodas are a traditional part of Chinese architecture. In addition to religious use, since ancient times Chinese pagodas have been praised for the spectacular views they offer, and many famous poems in Chinese history attest to the joy of scaling pagodas. The oldest and tallest were built of wood, but most that survived were built of brick or stone. Some pagodas were solid, and had no interior at all. Others were hollow and held within themselves an altar, with the larger frequently containing a smaller pagoda. The pagoda's interior has a series of staircases that allow the visitor to ascend to the top of the building and to witness the view from an opening on one side at each story. Most have between three and 13 stories and the classic gradual tiered eaves.

Guoqing Temple building in Zhejiang, China

The Guoqing Temple is a Buddhist temple on Mount Tiantai, in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Originally built in 598 during the Sui Dynasty, and renovated during the reign of the Qing Yongzheng Emperor, the temple is located roughly 220 kilometres (140 mi) from the city of Hangzhou. It was the initial site for the creation of the Tiantai school of Mahayana Buddhism, founded by Zhiyi. The temple covers an area of some 23,000 m2 (250,000 sq ft) and features 600 rooms in a total of 14 different halls, including the Grand Hall of Sakyamuni, the Hall of Five Hundred Arhats and the Hall of Monk Jigong. The exterior of the building features Chinese pagodas such as the Sui Pagoda, the Seven Buddha Pagoda, and the Memorial Pagoda of Monk Yi Xing.

Lingxiao Pagoda pagoda

The Lingxiao Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda west of the Xinglong Temple in Zhengding, Hebei Province, China.

Liaodi Pagoda pagoda

The Liaodi Pagoda of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingzhou, Hebei Province, China is the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda and tallest brick pagoda in the world, built in the 11th century during the Song dynasty (960–1279). The pagoda stands at a height of 84 metres (276 ft), resting on a large platform with an octagonal base. Upon completion in 1055, the Liaodi Pagoda surpassed the height of China's previously tallest pagoda still standing, the central pagoda of the Three Pagodas, which stands at 69.13 m (230 ft). The tallest pagoda in pre-modern Chinese history was a 100-metre-tall (330 ft) wooden pagoda tower in Chang'an built in 611 by Emperor Yang of Sui, yet this structure no longer stands.

Pagoda of Fogong Temple pagoda

The Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple of Ying County, Shanxi province, China, is a wooden Chinese pagoda built in 1056, during the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty. The pagoda was built by Emperor Daozong of Liao (Hongji) at the site of his grandmother's family home. The pagoda, which has survived several large earthquakes throughout the centuries, reached a level of such fame within China that it was given the generic nickname of the "Muta".

Pagoda of Cishou Temple building in Haidian District, China

The Pagoda of Cishou Temple, originally known as Yong'anwanshou Pagoda, is a 16th-century stone and brick Chinese pagoda located in the Buddhist Cishou Temple of Balizhuang, a suburb of Beijing.

Zhenjue Temple building in Peoples Republic of China

The Five Pagoda Temple (Chinese: 五塔寺; pinyin: Wǔ Tǎ Sì), formally known as the "Temple of the Great Righteous Awakening" or "Zhenjue Temple" for short, is a Ming dynasty Buddhist temple located in Haidian District, Beijing, China.

Lingyan Temple (Jinan) building in Lingyan Temple, China

Lingyan Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Changqing District, Jinan, Shandong Province, China, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the city of Tai'an. The temple grounds are situated in a valley on the western edge of the Taishan range. The Lingyan Temple has a long recorded history, and was one of the main temples in China during the times of the Tang and Song Dynasties. Its most renowned landmarks are the 11th century Pizhi Pagoda and the Thousand Buddha Hall which houses a Ming dynasty bronze Buddha statue as well as 40 painted clay statues of life-size luohan from the Song dynasty.

Tianning Temple (Changzhou) building in Changzhou, China

The Tianning Temple, located in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, is noted for its giant pagoda, the Tianning Pagoda (天宁宝塔/天寧宝塔). Construction began in April 2002 with the opening ceremony for the completed structure held on April 30, 2007, where a crowd of hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered for the ceremony. With 13 stories and a height of 153.79 metres (505 ft), this is now the tallest pagoda in the world, taller than China's tallest existent pre-modern Buddhist pagoda, the Liaodi Pagoda built in 1055 at a height of 84 m (275 ft). Although the existing pagoda was built by April 2007, the temple grounds and the pagoda have a history of construction and destruction for the past 1,350 years, since the time of the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Building of the pagoda was proposed by the Buddhist Association of China in 2001, yet providing money donations for the temple was an international effort, as leaders of 108 Buddhist associations and temples worldwide attended the opening ceremony at the temple.

Tianning District District in Jiangsu, Peoples Republic of China

Tianning District is one of five districts under the jurisdiction of Changzhou in Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China. The local language is the Changzhou dialect of Wu Chinese. The postal code for the district is 213003.

Dajue Temple mahayāna bouddhism temple in Beijing

The Dajue Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the Haidian District of western Beijing, China. It was founded in the 11th century, and the current temple dates to a reconstruction in the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty. It contains three main halls, a gate, a pagoda and various side halls.

Yongquan Temple (Fuzhou) Buddhist temple in Gushan, Fuzhou

Yongquan Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Mount Gu, in Jin'an District of Fuzhou, Fujian, China. It was first built in 783 during the Tang dynasty (618–907), and went through many changes and repairs through the following dynasties. Most of the present structures in the temple were repaired or built in the Jiajing period (1522–1566) in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

Lingguang Temple (Beijing) Buddhist temple in Beijing, China

Lingguang Temple is a Buddhist temple located on the east hillside of Mount Cuiwei (翠微山), in the Shijingshan District of Beijing. The temple is renowned for its collection of the tooth relic of the Buddha.

Huayan Temple (Datong) building in Datong, China

Huayan Temple or Huayan Monastery is a Buddhist temple located in Datong, Shanxi, China.

References

    Panoramic view of the Tianning Temple complex. People's Republic of China Beijing Tianningsi Tianing Temple David McBride Photography-0045 05.jpg
    Panoramic view of the Tianning Temple complex.