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Religious Sites of Xi'an

If you ask what are special in Xi'an, local Xi'an people might tell you three things: tombs, museums, and temples. It is said that temples in the city of Xi'an is a reflection of the religious situation in China. There are many kinds of temples in Xi'an, indicated different religions: Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Christian and Roman Catholicism.

Xi'an peaked during the Tang dynasty, when its position at the eastern end of the Silk Road transformed it into a bustling metropolis, luring foreign merchants and faiths, including Nestorian Christians, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Manicheans and Buddhists.

Many of the sites to visit are outside Xi'an and the surrounding countryside offers a treasure trove of historical and religious relics. The most famous site is the Terracotta Army, built to protect the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, whose Mausoleum lies close the warriors. Both these sights are to the east of Xi'an.

In the Han Dynasty, Buddhism was first introduced to China. In the Tang Dynasty, many classical scriptures and statues were brought from India by a famous monk, Xuanzang (602-664) and he contributed a lot to the translation project. He made a proposal to the court for a pagoda to be built inside the Ci'en Temple for the storage of the scriptures. Today, his statue is right in front of the temple and facing to Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.

The interesting thing is that Buddhism in China is slightly different from India Buddhism, thus it's called Chinese Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism is divided into eight branches (schools) by different perceptions on Buddhism; six of these schools were born in Chang'an (former name for Xi'an). At present, you can still find six temples of the school first maters in Xi'an. In Famen Temple, 110 km away from Xi'an, you will have a chance to see the Buddha's relics-finger bone.

Faxiang Zong, Da Ci'en Temple: Yanta Road, Xi'an
Da Ci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, royalty ordered the building of a temple named 'Ci'en' (Mercy and Kindness), for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 32,314 square meters (38,648.5 square yards), one seventh of the original area,,.---
  Jingtu Zong,Xiangji Temple: Shenhe Yuan, Xi'an
Xiangji Temple is situated in Chang'an County, about 17.5 kilometers (12 miles) to the south of Xian City. It was built in honor of the noted Buddhist monk Shandao, one of the initiators of a branch of Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, by his disciple Huai Yun after his master's death. Huai Yun named the temple 'xiangji', heaped fragrance,---
Huayan Zong, Huayan Temple: Shaolin Yuan, Xi'an
Hua yan Temple in Tang Dynasty is Changan south of Fan Chuan one of the eight major temple, located in what is now the Xi'an City fifteen km south of the original Banpo Shaoling, look down from a height, overlooking Fan Chuan.
Mi Zong, Da Xingshan Temple: West Street Da Xingshan Si, Xi'an
The Daxingshan Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. It was built during the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). During the Sui and Tang dynasties, Buddhism prevailed widely in Changan, Xian City's earlier name. Many Indian monks stayed there to translate the sutras and spread the Buddhist doctrines.. ---
Sanlun Zong, Caotang Temple: Hu Xian, Xi'an Known as the Buddhist Holy Land, Straw Hut (Caotang) Temple lies about 30 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Xi'an, in Caotangying Village of Huxian County.Initially built in 401 A.D., the temple became a sacred place where the Buddhist master, Kumarajiva (one of the four Buddhist translators), translated Buddhist scriptures. The temple was a thatch-roofed house, so it got the name .---
Blue Dragon Temple: Xiying Road, Xi'an
Green Dragon Temple is a famous Buddhist Temple from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). When it was built in 582, it was called Linggan Temple (Temple of Inspiration) and then renamed to its present one in 711. When Buddhism was prevalent during the Tang Dynasty, some Japanese monks were sent to China to study
Famen Temple: Baoji
Famen Temple, renowned for storing the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha, is located in Fufeng County of Shaanxi Province, 120km east of Xian and 96km west of Baoji. With a history of 1,700 years, Famen Temple is considered the "Forerunner of the Ziggurat in Central Shaanxi." The Famen 
  Jianfu Temple: Youyi Road,Xi'an
The Jianfu Temple, originally located at Kaihuafang of the Tang Dynasty Chang'an, was former residence of Princess Xiangcheng, a daughter of Tang Emperor Taizong. It was originally established in 684 in hornor of Li Zhi -- Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty 
Xingjiao Temple: Shaolin Yuan, Xi'an
Xingjiao Temple is situated at Chang'an County in the south of Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, and is one of Fanchuan Region's Big Eight Temples in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Bone relics of Xuanzang, an accomplished monk in the same dynasty, were buried here.
Wolong Temple: Kaitong Lane,
Xi'an Wolong Temple is located on Baishulin Street, Beilin District, Xi'an, capital of China's Shaanxi Province. According to the stele in the temple, it was first built during Lingdi years (AD 168-189), Han Dynasty, more than 1,800 years ago.The temple kept a painting of Guanyin drew by Wu Daozi in Tang Dynasty, so it was also called "Guanyin Temple". It was renamed Wolong Temple during Taizong's years (976-997), Song Dynasty

• • • • Lu Zong, Jingye Temple: Mount Zhongnan, Xi'an
• • • • Wangji Temple: Paofang, Xi'an

Tibetan Buddhism: It's the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Himalayan and the Tibet. But because the region of Tibet is substantially different from other regions in China.

Guangren Temple
 Tibetan Buddhism is substantially different from Buddhism in other regions in China. Guangren Temple  located in Shuncheng Lane, Xi'an, is consecrated to Princess Wencheng Tang Dynasty) who married the leader of Tibet. She promoted the relationship between Tang and Tibet, and brought Tang technology to Tibet at that time. The temple was established during the second year of the Kangxi----


Churches in Xi'an
East Church--- Christ the King Church
Add:3 Dianchang Xilu, Baqiao District, Xi'an
Getting there:Take bus No.11, 15, 42, 105, 213 to Banpo
South Church--- St. Francis of Assisi Church
St. Francis was founded by Ma Daidi, an Italian Catholic missionary who was appointed by the Bishop of Shaanxi Catholic Church, between 1716 and 1727. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology, and was the founder of the Franciscan order.
Add:17 Wuxing Jie, Xi'an
West Church---Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
Add:29 Yimin Xiang, Xi'an
Getting there:Take bus No.4, 23, 31, 201, 202, 222, 223 to Nanxiaoxiang
North Church--St.Peter's Catholic Church
Built by French missionary Jin Nige in the late Ming Dynasty, St. Peter's is the oldest church in Xi'an.
Add:41 Tangfang Jie, Xi'an
Getting there:Take bus No.6, 26, 28, 37, 39 to Beimen


BAXIAN GONG 八仙宮 (Eight Immortals Palace)
 Eight Immortals Palace is located in Xi’an, Shaanxi. The temple is named after the famous Eight Immortals, who came to occupy a central place in Daoism and Chinese popular culture from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) onward. The most famous of these is Lü Dongbin 呂洞賓 (Chunyang 純陽 [Purified Yang]; b. 798?), associated with various internal alchemy lineages. Eight Immortals Palace also contains the Yuxian qiao 遇仙橋 (Bridge for Meeting Immortals), where legend has it that Wang Chongyang 王重陽 (1113-1170), the founder of Quanzhen全真 (Complete Perfection) Daoism, encountered Lu Dongbin.

HUASHAN 華山  (Mount Hua)
 Mount Hua is located in Huayin, Shaanxi. Mount Hua is the westernmost of China's five sacred mountains, with the other four being Hengshan 恒山 (Shanxi; north), Taishan 泰山 (Shandong; east),  Hengshan 衡山 (Hunan; south), and Songshan 嵩山 (Hebei; central). Mount Hua is characterized by sheer granite rock formations and numerous eremitic caves. As a Daoist sacred site, and as a distinct Daoist sub-tradition, it is associated with Chen Xiyi 陳希夷 (d. 989) and Hao Guangning 郝廣寧 (1140-1213), one of the Seven Perfected of Quanzhen 全真 (Complete Perfection) Daoism.

LOUGUAN TAI 樓觀臺 (Lookout Tower Monastery)
 Lookout Tower Monastery is located in Zhouzhi, Shaanxi at the foot of the Zhongnan mountains. It is the place where Laozi 老子 is believed to have composed the Daode jing 道德經 (Scripture on the Dao and Inner Power) at the request of Yin Xi 尹喜, the “guardian of the pass.” As such, it is considered the “ancestral hall” (zuting 祖庭) of Daoism. Lookout Tower Monastery was the first Daoist monastery, which was founded by Yin Tong 尹通 (398-499?), an alleged descendent of Yin Xi.

CHONGYANG GONG 重陽宮  (Palace of Chongyang)
 The Palace of Chongyang is located in present-day Huxian, Shaanxi. It was the location of the eremitic community of Liujiang 劉蔣 where Wang Chongyang 王重陽 (1113-1170), the founder of Quanzhen 全真 (Complete Perfection) Daoism, engaged in religious praxis from 1163-1167 and where he was buried after his death in 1170. It is considered the “ancestral hall” (zuting 祖庭) of the Quanzhen tradition.

 Xian City God Temple
Xi’an City God Temple has the highest level, the greatest impact, has been 620 years of history.For six hundred years, experienced the wind and rain, dynasties, the rise and fall after. After the Yuan Dynasty the capital was moved to Beijing-Xi’an lost the advantage and glory as the capital, during Ming and Qing Dynasties, the economy center is mainly in the south of China, remote northwestern became backward areas  --

  • • Chenghuang Miao: the West Street,Xi'an
    • Eight Immortals An: Changle Fang,Xi'an
    • Louguan Tai: Qinling Mountains,Xi'an
    • Xiangzi Miao: Str.Xiangzi Miao,Xi'an

During the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) large number of Moslems travelled the world-famous Silk Road to Chang'an (former name for Xi'an) bringing Islam to China. There are several mosques in Xi'an, and the Great Mosque is the most famous one.

Great Mosque: Huajue Lane, Xi'an
The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China and its location is northwest of the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) on Huajue Lane.The Great Mosque of Xian is the largest and best preserved of the early mosques of China. Built primarily in the Ming Dynasty when Chinese architectural elements were synthesized into mosque architecture, the mosque resembles a fifteenth century Buddhist temple with its single axis lined with courtyards and pavilions.

  •  The Great Mosque: Huajue Lane, Xi'an
  •  Mosque Great: Da Xuexi Lane, Xi'an

Xi'an Great Mosque is among the largest mosques in China. The mosque is located in Muslim Snack Street, a five- minute walk from the drum tower. The mosque is built in a Chinese architectural style with most of the grounds taken up by gardens. It is still an active place of worship, and a major spot for religious activities of over 60.000 Moslems in Xi'an. The courtyard of the mosque can be visited, but only Muslims may enter the prayer hall.

Attractions In  Xi'an                        More

Mausoleum in Xi'an

Characteristic Streets in Xi'an

  Xian Museums

Sights You Never Miss in Xi'an Architecture