Jinghai Temple

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This is a picture of Jinghaisi Museum.

Jinghai Temple (Chinese: 静海寺; pinyin: Jìnghǎi Sì) is a 15th-century temple located in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. It is southwest of Shizi Mountain (Chinese: 狮子山).[1] It was built to recognize the voyage of Zheng He by the emperor in Ming Dynasty.[2] In 1842, China’s first unequal treaty Treaty of Nanking was discussed in the temple. It was devastated in the Taiping Rebellion and the Second Sino-Japanese War.

In 1988, the People’s Government of Nanjing rebuilt the temple at its original site. In 1990, the Nanjing Treaty Historical Exhibition Museum was established. After expansions in 1996 and 2005, Jinghai Temple then became the Nanjing Jinghai Temple Memorial. It has exhibitions about Zheng He’s Voyage, the Nanjing Treaty, etc. Jinghai Temple is a National 4A Level Scenic Spot, National Patriotism Education Base, and Nanjing Relic Protection Unit.

Overall Introduction[edit]

Jinghai Temple (Temple of the Calm Sea) was built in 1416 by the Yongle emperor of the Ming dynasty to honor Zhenghe, court eunuch, explorer and envoy of the emperor who traveled to India and even sailed as far as the east coast of Africa several times. The temple was originally built as a dedication to the Goddess of the Sea, Tianfei. It was also called "Tin Hua" in Hong Kong. Tin Hua or Tianfei was created by emperor for the namesake of a young woman from Fujian province in China who miraculously rescued sailors whose boats had gone adrift on the high seas.

It was one of Nanjing's largest and most lavishly decorated temples. It had witnessed the failure of the Qing dynasty in the First Opium War (1839–1842), on August 29, 1842. The British ship, Cornwallis, anchored on the Yangtze River which is just west of Jinghai Temple. This was where the first Treaty of Nanking was signed. By the time of the Republican Period, after the Taiping Rebellion and the destruction of traditional architecture during the Cultural Revolution, the temple had almost disappeared. A reconstruction of Jinghai Temple was in process in 1987 and an extension was built in 1996, when it became the museum of the Nanking Treaty. Before the return of Hong Kong to mainland China in 1996, this museum became the site for nationalist celebrations. Today the museum occupies only 15% of the Jinghai Temple. The only remaining part of the original temple is a stele which was established and written by the Yongle emperor, himself.

In addition, the museum was built next to a large outcropping rock known as Sansuyan (Three Night Crag) where the Southern Song general, Yu Yunwen, moored his fleet for three nights on his return trip after defeating the Jin army in Anhui province. [3]

History[edit]

Jinghai Temple was built in Ming Dynasty to praise Zhenghe’s contribution which enhanced the communication and friendship with other Asian countries. Meanwhile, it is also a place where offers the Arhat portraits which is one element if Buddha, teeth relic of the Buddha and jade wares, etc. Jinghai, literally means peace and ocean in Chinese, which indicates blessings for the people who are on voyage and gradually develops as a universal peace latter on. It had been rebuilt and fixed for three times in different time periods of Chinese history.

In June, 1840, Great Britain declared a war and antagonized China, which was known as the First Opium War. In 1842, British troops invaded Nanjing. The whole China was in panic and under a great threat. The Qing government had discussed the unequal treaty with British government for four times in Jinghai Temple. On August 29, the Qing governemt was forced to sign <Nanjing Treaty> which is the first unequal treaty in modern Chinese history at a British navy ship. Therefore, Jinghai Temple had became the symbol of the beginning of Chinese modern history.

During the past five centuries, Jinghai Temple had undergone disasters and warfare. In 1987, it was rebuilt with 628 square meters in the style of Ming dynasty. Since it could not be as same as the original one, Jinghai Temple was called as Old Jinghai Temple Site. In 1990, Nanjing government decided to make it as the public places, Nanjing Treaty Historical Exhibition Museum, in order to remains Chinese people for not forget the hidtory . In the end of 1996, to celebrate Hong Kong’s return, the local government had invested significant amount of money to fix and rebuilt it. The Jinghai Temple was expended to 2800 square meters in total. The structure of it is simple but elegant, similar to the Jiangnan garden style. In 1997, Jinghai Temple was honored as one of 100 National Patriotism Education Bases.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jinghai Temple, Nanjing, China". Orientalarchitecture.com. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  2. ^ {{"静海寺" Accessed in Nomember, 2011.}}
  3. ^ "Jinghai Temple, Nanjing, China". Asian Historical Architecture. Asian Historical Architecture. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "静海寺_百度百科". Baike.baidu.com. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°05′39″N 118°44′28″E / 32.09417°N 118.74111°E / 32.09417; 118.74111