White Cloud Taoist Temple
Located in southwestern Beijing, White
Cloud Temple, the headquarters of the Quanzhen Daoist
Sect, was founded in the 8th century. Tang dynasty emperor
Xuanzong ordered its construction to house a stone seated
statue of Laozi, the founder of Daoism. The original
temple burned down in 1202 and the only article that
survived was the stone statue which is on display in
the exhibition hall.
Kublai Khan had the temple rebuilt
and in 1224, invited the famous Daoist monk Qiu Chuji
to live there. At his passing, Qiu was buried in the
temple complex and there is now a Hall of the Patriach
Qiu devoted to his worship.
There is also a stele with calligraphy
by Qing emperor Qianlong recording in detail the history
of the temple and the life of Qiu Chuji. Further renovations
were made to the temple in the Qing dynasty and it is
a good example of Daoist architecture from the period.