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Cao'an Temple

Perched on the hill of Huabiao, 19km south of Quanzhou, Cao'an Temple is dedicated to Manichaeism, a religion originating in Persia in the third century. In 1961, the temple was entered on the Fujian provincial list of protected cultural monuments. In 1996, it was added to China's National List of Historical and Cultural Sites, Fujian.


Originally constructed by Chinese Manicheans, it was viewed by later worshipers as a Buddhist temple. This temple is considered by modern experts on Manichaeism as "the only extant Manichean temple in China" or "the only Manichean building which has survived intact". The most remarkable relic in Cao'an Temple is the “Buddha of Light”, a sitting stone statue in the main hall, which is actually the prophet Mani, founder of Manichaeism.


The original temple was a straw hut, and the well-restored stone complex today was a rebuild dating to the Yuan Dynasty. The temple as it exists today is not too different from a typical Buddhist temple of its region. It is a two-story granite building with the worship space downstairs and living space for a few priests upstairs.


Recommend visiting time: 1-3 hours

Type: Culture

Entrance fees:  Free

Opening hours: 9:00-13:30; 14:20-17:00

Transportation: Take Bus No.19 or K 16 and get off at Ciao’ansi Station

Location: Jinjiang City, Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China

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