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Temple of Eight Immortals

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Temple of Eight Immortals

Brief Introduction
Temple of Eight Immortals, also named Xiangzimiao Templ, is the largest Taoist temple in Xi'an, which is still an active place of worship. Supposedly built on the site of an ancient wine shop, it was constructed to protect against subterranean divine thunder. Scenes from Taoist mythology are painted around the courtyard. Empress Cixi, the mother of the last emperor, stayed here in 1901 after fleeing Běijīng during the Boxer Rebellion.

History & Background
Temple of Eight Immortals can be dated back to the Song dynasty. The Temple of Eight Impmortals was originally built to guard against mysterious thunder plaguing the area in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Later, in the Sui Dynasty, there were reports that the Eight Immortals were seen dining there. The temple was accordingly renamed in their honor.

Temple of Eight Immortals.jpg

Outside the city wall, and away from the tourist throngs, is the Temple of the Eight Immortals. It's still in use, with monks wandering in and out of the courtyards. The temple seemed to hold secrets around each corner, whether it be a detailed carving, stone mosaic, or a tucked-away garden. Here visitors can enjoy its rich history and culture very often fail to include the Temple of Eight Immortals in their itinerary. Not only you can feel peace and quiet, also you will experience the tranquility of a spiritual and historical site.

Layout
The temple covers an area of 8,200 square meters. After series of repairs and renovations, it still possesses the typical layout of Ming and Qing Dynasty. The entrance to the Monastery is wide and open. There are two large bricks toriis standing there and rows of trees are planted on both sides of the area. In front of the monastery, there is a huge screen wall with four Chinese Characters “Wan Gu Chang Qing” (means remaining fresh forever). There are three hill gates. The Bell tower and Drum Tower stands on each side of the gates. It is divided into three sections. The Linggong Palace, the Ba Xian Palace and the Doumu Palace in the middle; the Lu Zu palace, the Yao Wang Palace and other features in the east; Qiu Zu Palace and the Jianyuan Rool in the west. 

Eight Immortals
The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary xian in Chinese mythology. Each immortal's power can be transferred to a power tool that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the "Covert Eight Immortals". Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang or Song dynasty. They are revered by the Taoists and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea, which includes Penglai Mountain-Island.

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The Eight Immortals are common figures in Chinese folklore, and their adventures told in various texts and stories. Most seem to have been legendary figures, a few have gained fame in secular history, and a couple religious followings of their own. The Xi'an Temple of Eight Immortals site consists of separated halls where worshippers can pay their respects and burn incense to a variety of figures, which also include the Master Physician, the Goddess of Stars, and the Big Dipper figures. While these may seem to mainly hold a folkloric quality, the figures also imply that they could be treated as models—representing important values and behavior as well as guiding humans to find the way.

Transportation

How to get to Temple of the Eight Immortals
Bus Routes:

Take buses No. 8, 27, 37, 43, 102, 203, 300, 602, 709, 903, or K622 and get off at Jishiguai station

Metro Routes:
Take metro line 1 and get off at Kangfulu

Travel Guide

Admission Fee: CNY 3
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:30
Time for Visiting: 3-4 Hours
Address: Wu Dao Shizi Dongjie, Xi'an

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