Shanghai – Buddha temples and old Chinese architecture

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Yu Gardens Bazaar
Modern shopping centre in old-fashioned buildings

Shanghai, although associated mainly with tall, glass skyscrapers, also hides places with charming Chinese architecture. These are mostly Buddhist temples and Chinese gardens. But not all of them. An old-fashioned buildings of the Yu Gardens Bazaar shopping complex were built next to the old Yu Gardens (Yu Yuan).

Charming Chinese architecture in Yu Gardens Bazaar
Charming Chinese architecture

Yu Gardens Bazaar attracts crowds and is extremely popular among tourists. Buildings with fancy roofs are very appealing. Shops which here obviously peddle everything from tourist souvenirs to the specifics of Chinese medicine attract a lot of buyers. In addition, the ubiquitous smell of fried food, huge crowds and even cafes filled to the brim. Such crowds are possible only in China. 😛 Despite the almost overwhelming clamor, charming buildings and lakes with lilies calmly lead towards the Yu Gardens.

Golden Buddha
Golden Buddha

In the middle of the whole complex is the Huxinting Teahouse, built in 1784 by cotton merchants, and changed into a cafe in the late 19th century. This old cafe is surrounded by zigzag bridges, protecting it from evil spirits that are known not to turn corners. 😀

City God Temple

In another part of the Yu Gardens Bazaar, the City God Temple (in this case Shanghai) is hidden in a maze of streets. Remembering the Ming dynasty, it once occupied the size of the entire Yu Gardens Bazaar and was a place of worship of the patron saint of Shanghai.

Shanghai - Jade Buddha Temple
Bell Tower and Halls with Buddha figures
Jade Buddha Temple

The Jade Buddha Temple is much more magnificent and the most famous of all Shanghai temples. It was built in 1882 to enshrine two jade Buddha statues, which were brought from Birma. After the fire in 1918, it was moved to its present place. After the communists took power, it was closed and this state lasted for 30 years. Built in the style of the Southern Song Dynasty, it has sharply curved roof eaves and decorative figurines on the roofs.

The three main buildings are connected by two courtyards. We start from the Heavenly King Hall, passing through the Grand Hall of Magnificence with three golden Buddha statues sitting next to each other (incarnations of the Buddha). However, the most outstanding of all are jade statues, one depicting the lying Buddha and the other one, carved from a single piece of jade, is a statue of the sitting Buddha.


Photographs of Shanghai

Old Chinese architecture and Buddha temples
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Carly BB

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