Guanyin Temple or Guanyin Hall locates 7.5 kilometers west of Datong city center. Guanyin Temple was originally built during Chongxi Period in 1037 of Liao Dynasty (916-1125) but was destroyed by fire in 1122. The temple was renovated several times during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The existing one was rebuilt in 1651 during Qing Dynasty.
Structures of Guanyin Temple
Guanyin Temple has a compact layout. It sits on a high platform facing to north. In the front, there is the Three Dragon Screen. The opera tower, bell and drum tower, Guanyin Hall, Sanzhen Hall, and Zhao Hall are arranged from front to back along the central axis.
The main gate was arched built by brick, looking like a hole, with the word "Guanyin Temple" written on the forehead. The opera tower, sitting to the south, was 8 meters above the ground. The bell and drum towers locate on the left and right side behind the opera temple.
The main Guanyin Hall has three rooms, whose roof is covered with glazed tiles. A pavilion was added inside to expand the venue for Buddhist events. There is a 6-meter-high stone statue of goddess Guanyin in the center of the main hall. The body of the statue has exquisite carvings painted with gold. The well-preserved delicate headdresses of the statue reach to the top of the temple. These decorations are made from copper and enamel, with colorful patterns. The face of the statue was exquisite carved, looking vivid and live.
Two two-meter-high stone statues are standing on each side of goddess Guanyin. These four statues are in golden color and were built during the Liao Dynasty. On the walls and roofs inside the hall, 24 paintings were painted, clear and well-preserved, telling the story of the rescue of goddess Guanyin vividly.
The Three Dragon Screen is another attraction inside the temple. It is the only double-faced, yellow glazed wall in Datong. It is a relic of the Ming Dynasty. The wall is 12 meters long, 6 meters high and 1.2 meters thick. The base of the wall is made from blue-stones with decorative patterns including lions, horses, dragons and Kirin. On the both sides of the wall, there are three 3-meter-high yellow glazed dragons. The dragons look like flying in the blue sky or swimming in the green waves. The difference lies that the three dragons on the north side are inlaid with fireballs. This dragon wall with gorgeous colors and rough was preserved well. Each dragon is carved vividly and strengthful. The superb craftsmanship engraved the soaring charms of the dragons.