The Golden Temple is a famous Taoism temple in Yunnan Province. Located on the charming Mingfeng Hill (means Singing Phoenix Hill in English), about 15 kilometers from the east Kunming urban area, the Golden Temple is also known as Taihe Palace (Hall of Supreme Harmony) or Tongwa Temple (Bronze Tile Temple). It is the largest copper architecture in China.
Golden Temple was firstly built in 1602 during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), imitating the design of the Taihe Palace in Wudang Mountain of Hubei Province. The temple hall is 6.7 meter in height, and weighs 250 tons. All of the beam columns, doors, windows, roof tiles, statues, wall decorations, the banner near the gate and couplets, are made of bronze. The burnished bronze gleams like gold under the shining sun, hence the temple got its name.
Like most of the Taoist temples, visitors must climb hundreds of winding stone steps on the mountainside and get through three “Heavenly Gates,” which are highly decorated with well-painted archivolts and carded beams and rafters before approaching the temple. The stone steps are surrounded by beautiful scenery, and while climbing the stone steps, you could feel a sense of inner peace as they integrate themselves into the beauty of Mingfeng Hill.
At the end of the stone path there situated a miniature city wall built along with Lingxing Gate (the gate leading to the temple) and battlements. Inside Taihe Palace, numerous historical objects are on display. Among these objects is a double-edged sword with the Big Dipper weighs 20 kilograms engraved on it. It is said that this is the magic sword of Zhen Wu, a Taoist deity who guards Mingfeng Hill. Another broadsword with a wooden handle is said to be the saber of Wu Sangui (a seignior of Qing Dynasty), and weighs 12 kilograms (about 24.5 pounds). Behind the temple, a camellia tree signaling the approach of spring every February with its hundreds of exquisite blossoms is planted. Visitors could also find a lager striemia indica tree, these trees, over 600 years old, adding more energy to the quiet temple.