Yonghe Temple

Yonghegong (The Lama Temple) is a famous lamasery located in the northeastern part of the old city of Beijing. It was a palatial residence built in 1694 by Qing Emperor Kangxi for his fourth son, Prince Yongzheng who later succeeded to the throne. After the death of his father, Emperor Yongzheng moved to the Forbidden City. The compound was closed to ordinary people and was renamed yonghegong (the Palace of Harmony). Green roof tiles were replaced by yellow ones to suit a monarch's home. In 1744 his successor Emperor Qianlong converted the palace into a lamasery.

It is comprised of five main halls and many galleries. The Lama Temple is dedicated to the Yellow Sect of Buddhism. It is actually an active temple, with many faithful belivers with burning armloads of incense. The temple has a valuable relic: the biggest Buddha statue carved from a single tree. The statue is huge with three stories up and about nine feet across. It is quite easy to get to the temple for it is the only temple in the downtown Beijing which has its own subway stop.

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