The Temple of Guan Yu

(, wikipedia )

Updated: 2011-11-22

The Temple of Guan Yu

The Temple of Guan Yu was built in Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220). (photo from

Guan Yu (died 219) was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty of China. He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, of which Liu Bei was the first emperor.

The Temple of Guan Yu was built in Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220) and called "Yiyong Ancestral Hall of Emperor Wu'an", which was repaired in the Emperor Jiajing's 15th year and got the name "Guanling" (The Temple of Guan Yu).

According to historic record, in AD 219 of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Guanyu and Sun Quan had a battle. Guan Yu was defeated to get killed in Linju. Then Sun Quan took his severed head to Cao Cao in Luoyang and buried it there as the feudal lord. Before this tomb was just an earth grave, and in 183 of the Southern Song Dynasty some pavilion was built here. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the gate of the grave was added.

In 1467 of the Ming Dynasty, the temple was set up, then it was repaired and remolded. In the cemetery, there are memorial arch, red gate, Ma Hall, Pray Hall, the main hall, bedroom palace, Qisheng palace, Spring and Autumn Pavilion, Bozi Cave, the octagonal pavilion, tablet porch and some other buildings. It has diversified pavilion, stern palace, with Dan walls encircled, very grand.

The Temple of Guan Yu
(photo from

The grave locates behind the bedroom palace, with the length of 7 meters and the perimeter of over 70 meters, which has stone walls and railings with engraved stones in front of the grave and behind pavilions, very plain.

Many stele carving of celebrities in ancient times have been preserved here, among which the prose carved on the stones made by two brothers Yuan Hongdao and Yuan Zhongdao (writers of Ming Dynasty) are especially good. The cemetery faces Jushui River, looking out in all directions spaciously, with towering copal in it, very beautiful and peaceful.

The Temple of Guan Yu
The Temple of Guan Yu covered in snow (by Zhu Zhengming)

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