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May 16, 2018

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Also worth a look while in the vicinity

Dengfeng must enjoy favorable feng shui because three ancient religions of China — Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism — took root there.

The Zhongyue Temple represents Taoism, and the Songyang Academy is Confucian. Both were entered on the World Heritage List in 2010.

The Zhongyue Temple was originally built some 2,000 years ago, while the academy is about 1,500 years old. The original buildings were destroyed by either fire or other disasters. The current structures are reconstructions in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

In the temple, four iron man statues were cast around 1,000 years ago. They have survived all the ravages of time and still stand in the yard to protect a shrine. These are the largest and best-preserved ancient iron man statues in China.

Apart from the two religious complexes, the Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory is worth a visit. The oldest astronomical observatory in China has been in use for more than 3,000 years.

The current structure was built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Astronomer Guo Shoujing (1231-1316) managed to cipher out the 24 solar terms there.


How to get there: Taxis are the fastest way to reach all the sites. The observatory is relatively far away, about a half-hour ride from downtown Dengfeng. The admission fee for the Zhongyue Temple is 80 yuan. The Songyang Academy costs 30 yuan to enter. The observatory is free of charge.


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