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Jinci Temple, Taiyuan, Shanxi

The Jinci Temple is situated where the Jmshui River uses at the foot of the Xuanweng Mountain 25 kilometers southwest of Taiyuan. It is a famous garden of ancient buildings, skirted by the mountain and the river, where ancient trees soar to unbelievable heights. It is warm in winter and cool in summer, and the buildings look elegant in a classical style.

The temple is also endowed with a rich cultural legacy. The temple was expanded during the Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties until it attained its present scale. There are more than SO halls built prior to the Qing Dynasty, occupying an area of more than 10,000 square meters. The centerpiece of the entire cluster is the Hall of the Holy Mother, enshrined with 33 painted sculptures of servant maids of the Song Dynasty. These sculptures are one of the Jinci Temple's three wonders.

The two other wonders are two trees - a cypress tree dating back to the Zhou Dynasty and a Chinese scholar tree planted in the Sui Dynasty - and a spring that keeps gurgling to this day.

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