Top 10 attractions in Shanxi, China

By Xu Lin
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 Jin Ancestral Temple(晋祠)

Jin Ancestral Temple, one of the 'top 10 attractions in Shanxi, China' by

Jin Ancestral Temple

Located 25 km (15.53 miles) southwest of Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, the Jin Ancestral Temple boasts ancient buildings set in a tranquil environment. It is famous for its combination of solemn architecture and skillfully-carved sculptures. It combines buildings, garden, sculpture, wall paintings and tablets, making it a precious source of Chinese cultural heritage.

It is said that if you don't visit Jin Ancestral Temple when you come to Taiyuan, it's just like not visiting the Forbidden City when you are in Beijing. Construction of the temple began prior to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557) to memorize Shu Yu, the second child of the emperor. Saint Mother Hall, the oldest building in Jin Ancestral Temple, is one of the main attractions of the temple, which is a destination of many visitors.

An added draw is that many emperors and poets left tablets here. Among them, the most famous stele was written by Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty (618-907) in 646.

Admission: 40 yuan (US$6.32)/person

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