Shuangta Temple, Taiyuan, Shanxi
(August 31, 2012)

(1) Shuangta ("Twin Pagodas") Temple is not on my list, but is considered a "must see" in Taiyuan (the twin pagodas are a city symbol). This is no longer an active temple, just a tourist site. This shot is from the bus, approaching the gate. The pagodas are about 53 meters (nearly 175 feet) tall.

(2) I've seen this before, but they've usually been repaired: someone, probably the Red Guard, knocked off this lion's front legs.

(3) This is the main hall of Yongzuo Si, the proper name of the temple. The hall is all brick.

(4) Even this is all brick; there is no wood here.

(5) Again, these "brackets" imitate wood, but are all brick.

(6) An unusual statue in the main hall. It seems to be a hodgepodge of statues taken from other sites. I'd like to find out when the temple was "decommissioned" and what happened to the original figures. But I can guess...

(7) This is the second floor of the main hall, as seen from the stairs to the pagodas.

(8) Inside the second floor are statues moved from "the original Zizhusi Temple in March 1985" (wherever that is/was). Anyway, the statues in this hall seem like a more cohesive set.

(9) The ceiling in this hall is, again, brick in imitation of carved wood (except for that sort of "donut" at the top).

(10) Frankly, the small temple compound impressed me more than the pagodas (seen one, seen...) But anyway here we are. This is actually a shop between the pagodas, but was once probably a hall. That's Wenfeng, the southeasterly pagoda.

(11) This is the base of Xuanwen, the northwesterly pagoda. That's the second floor of the temple's main hall on the left, as the pagoda compound is quite elevated.

(12) Wenfeng Pagoda.

(13) Xuanwen (l) and Wenfeng (r) Pagodas.

(14) Xuanwen (l) and Wenfeng (r) Pagodas.

(15) Xuanwen Pagoda close up.

(16) An artsy shot of Xuanwen Pagoda from outside of the compound.

(17) On the southeast side of the pagoda compound is a gate-like building with this old-looking structure on top.

(18) West of the temple (and decidedly off the tourist route--I sort of invited myself through an open gate) were offices, and either side of the entry hall had conservation labs. They looked pretty minimally-equipped to my amateur eye.

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