The Chongshan Monastery, built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is located in Huangmiao Lane, Wuyi Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province. Although it’s not as eye-catching as the Jinci, it has its own glorious time in the history. It was called White Horse Monastery (Baima Si) previously. In 1383, in memory of his mother, Zhu Gang, third son of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had the monastery rebuilt and extended, renaming it Chongshan Monastery.
Construction was completed in 1391. The layout of the splendid palace-like monastery is evident from the extant Chongshan Monastery Construction Plan. Covering an area of 245 mu (40.4 acres), the Chongshan Monastery was obviously magnificent.
Due to a destruction in Qing Dynasty, only one-fortieth of it survives, including the Bell Tower, the Dabei Hall, and the east and west wing rooms. Local governments have restored some of its former brilliance to the monastery. In these surviving buildings are three splendid treasures. One is the sutras. The oldest sutra has a history of over 1000 years. The second treasure is the 'Gem Paintings,' copies of two frescos still retaining their bright colors after 500 years. The third treasure is three gilded Ming Dynasty mud statues of Bodhisattvas all about 8 meters (26.2 feet) high. All three statues still retain their florid colors and smooth lines, rare artworks of the Ming Dynasty.
Address: Huangmiao Lane, Wuyi Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province
Opening hours: 8:00 – 19:00
Admission fee: 6 RMB
Transportation: Take Bus No. 58, then get off at Mengshan Giant Buddha Station.
Recommended visit time: 1-2 hours