Baoguo Temple, situated in the valley of Lingshan Mountains, 15 kilometers to the north of Ningbo, is the oldest and most completely preserved wooden structure construction in South China with over 970 years of age. It consists of Shan Men(Mountain Gate), Tian Wang Dian (Hall of Heavenly King), Da Dian (Grand Hall), occupying an area of 13,000 square meters with the construction area of 6000 square meters.
The Grand Hall is invaluable in the history of Chinese construction in the field of history, arts and science. The main characteristics of the hall are that its depth is larger than its width, hence its form is a vertical rectangular. This structure is rare in the construction of Buddhist temples in the same period. The whole structure of the hall, supporting the roof of over 50 tons, has layers of layer ingeniously interlocking wooden brackets but not a single nail was used. There are three hollowed-out sunken panels in the ceiling, hiding the roof beam, hence the hall is called "Beamless Hall." Besides the unique structure, there is another peculiar phenomenon in the beamless hall. No birds have ventured inside to make nests, not a single spider web is found and no dust is accumulated.
Baoguo Temple is a major historical and cultural site under state protection.
Ticket: 12 yuan (US$1.5)
Transportation: Taking bus 332 at Xinjiangqiao downtown.
(china.org.cn March 28, 2003)