Temple of the Mountain God, Tai'an Dai Miao
The Temple of the Mountain God, in the town center, covers an area of 9.6ha/23.7acres and comprises 813 palaces, temples, pavilions and covered walkways. Originally built in the Qin period (221-207 BC) it has been frequently extended and restored right up to the present day, and is dedicated to the God of Mount Taishan.
Opening hours: 7:30am-5:30pm
Hall of Heavenly Gifts
The main building in the Temple of the Mountain God, the Hall of Heavenly Gifts (Tiankuang Dian), dates from 1009, and was restored in 1956.It is said that, in a vision, the emperor saw a cloth of gold silk both at his court and on Mount Taishan. He regarded it as a gift from the God of Heaven and built this temple to express his gratitude.The building can be compared with the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Imperial Palace in Beijing and with the Hall of Great Achievements in the Temple of Confucius at Qufu. Measuring 49m/160ft long, 20m/66ft wide and 22m/72ft high, the temple stands on a terrace and is surrounded by a white balustrade and roofed with yellow tiles. Inside can be seen a wall-painting, 62m/203ft long and 3.3m/11ft high, from the Song period (960-1279), entitled "Departure and Return". It portrays the Mountain God going in procession up the mountain, and shows 657 figures, numerous birds and mythical creatures, as well as some magnificent scenery.
Han Courtyard of Pine Trees
Behind the Hall of Heavenly Gifts lie a number of courtyards, including the well-known Han Courtyard of Pine Trees (Hanbai Yuan), where five pine-trees which are said to have been planted by the Han Emperor Wudi in 110 BC are still standing.The Bronze Pavilion dates back to 1615 and originally stood on Mount Taishan.Nearby is the Iron Pagoda (1533); three of the original thirteen floors have survived.
Eastern Seat of the Emperor
In another courtyard can be seen the Eastern Seat of the Emperor (Dongyu Zuo), where at one time various rulers stayed when they came on a pilgrimage to Mount Taishan. It houses various offerings made by these emperors, such as the three ''Treasures'', a lion, a jade scepter and a porcelain calabash.In the temple precincts can be found large numbers of commemorative stones from various periods, including an inscribed stone tablet from 209 BC, one of the oldest in China. The text of the inscription was composed by the Qin Emperor Ershi and calligraphed by his chancellor Li Si; of the original 222 ideograms only the last ten can still be deciphered.