Kun Iam Temple, also known as the Puji Buddha Hall, locates at the Avenida do Coronel Mesquita. It was built in 1632 during the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1614). As one of the most famous temples in Macau, it has a long history, a large scale, and majestic architectural features. Though it has experienced more than 360 years, Kun Iam Temple still kept the ancient style and good appearance. It is known as the site of the first Sino-US Treaty of Wangxia, which was signed in 1844.
Structure of Kun Iam Temple
Kun Iam Temple is a rare ancient large-scale Buddhism architecture complex in Macau, which has many similarities with other ancient Chinese temples. Kun Iam Temple has three main shrines in sequence. It consists of the Sakyamuni Hall, Amitayus Hall and the Kun Iam Hall, and several small shrines around the three main halls.
The Sakyamuni Hall worships three grand and majestic Buddhas, including the Sakyamuni. There is an ancient bronze bell aside of the hall, which has been worked for more than 350 years. The eaves of the hall are very exquisite, carved with Shiwan Figures in Ming Dynasty.
Amitayus Hall worships the Amitayus, which is serene and mild. This statue is a symbol of Buddha's purpose, to deliver all living creatures from torment.
Kun Iam Hall is the most important hall in the temple. Kun Iam was dressed in embroidered silk and wearing a crown, who is flanked by the Eighteen Buddhas. One of them has a sharp nose, salient eyes, and curly hair, which is said to be carved in the shape of Marco Polo, the famous Venetian merchant traveler, who once studied Buddhism in the temple.
In addition, a great number of famous paintings, calligraphies, and cultural relics were collected inside the temple. Here, people can find the art works by Gao Jianfu (1879-1951), Zhang Taiyan (1869-1936), Mi Fu (1051-1107), Dong Qichang (1555-1636) and Liu Yong (1719-1804).
At the back of Kun Iam Temple, there are the terraced gardens. People can find the granite table and its four matched benches, where is the sign location of the first Sino-US Treaty of Wangxia. The treaty was signed in 1844 after the Opium War (1840-1842).