Shanhua Si / Nan Si, Datong
The Shanhua Si or Nan Si lies, as its name suggests, in the south of the town. Construction commenced in the 8th C but in 1122 a large part fell victim to the fire of that year. It was rebuilt between 1128 and 1143. Today the monastery comprises the Sumptuous Hall of the Great Hero (Liao period, 916-1125), the Hall of the Three Holy Ones (12th C) and the Puxian Pavilion, or Puxian Ge (1154).
Opening hours: 9:30am-4pm
Shanhua Si Monastery - Sumptuous Hall of the Great Hero
The Sumptuous Hall of the Great Hero (Daixong Baodian) contains five statues of Tathagata (one of the ten titles afforded to Shakyamuni) seated on a throne of lotus leaves; each is surrounded by several followers and Bodhisattvas. On each side of the temple stand 24 statues of gods all with different faces. Apart from two guardian statues from the Jin period (1115-1234) all these figures can be attributed to the Liao era (916-1125). Although the wall-paintings are of the Qing period (1644-1911) they are based on the style of the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).
Shanhua Si Monastery - Wall of the Nine Dragons
The Wall of the Nine Dragons, in Dongjie Street in the town center, is 45.5m/149ft long, 8m/26ft high and 2.02m/6.5ft) thick. It was built in 1392 to embellish the residence of Zhu Gui, the thirteenth son of the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. In 1644 the palace burned down, and the only part saved from the flames was the wall, built of colored ceramic bricks and decorated with bas- and high-relief. The decorations portray nine dragons, beneficent beings, numbering nine for luck, that are dancing in the clouds, grabbing for dragon pearls.
Shanhua Si Monastery - Hall of the Three Holy Ones
In the Hall of the Three Holy Ones, a typical example of the architecture of the Jin dynasty (1127-1234), visitors can see the statues of the Three Holy Ones, Shakyamuni, Wenshu and Puxian.
Shanhua Si (Nan Si) Pictures
Map of Datong Attractions