This small and old Temple, until recently was in a dire state of disrepair. For years it stood abondoned as the least of the Hutong structures stretching along the North Side of West Flower Market Street.
However, with the recent economic boom of Beijing, bringing in time a complete restructuring of its surroundings the Chongwen Fire God Temple is making its proud return among the active Temples in Beijing.
Under restauration and renovations since November 2004, when its surrounding Hutong were stripped, the Chongwen Fire God Temple is now once more open to the Public. Visit it when you are near the New World Mall & Apartments !
You can take a Taxi there or easily reach it through ChongwenMen Subway Station, a station on both the circular red line, and the blue central line.
As it's name suggest, ChongwenMen Nei Dajie' is the wide boulevard leading south from ChongwenMen, the location of the (West) Entrance to the Ming Dynasty Era City Wall Relics Park. Once walking on this Boulevard directions are simple.
First find the Large New World Complex, then go south as far as its Mc Donald's hamburger outlet.
From here, the West Flower Market Street, or Xi Hua Shi Dajie' is across Chongwen Men Nei Dajie leading East.
If you have passed by the New World Building and find yourself on the North Corner at Sosho Entertainment Mall, you have come to far and should return on your steps. Head back North up ChongwenMen Nei Dajie'.
The Fire God Temple of Chongwen is placed on the North Side of West Flower Market Street, just past and appropriately across from the Chongwen Fire Station (No.xx). If you are lucky, the Station's Doors will be opened and you can have a peek at their cars and equipment.
Some ways beyond, but in view of both the Fire Station and Fire God Temple, stands the streets third object of cultural-historic interest. Its a small Mosque !
The small mosque now is one of the few reminders of what was once an islamic quarter in the Chongwen District Hutong of Beijing. Its survived since the year 1444 AD, but is now surounded by modern appartment blocks and their parking lots.
More on this Mosque and the Former Muslim Quarter later !
History of the Chongwen Fire God Temple -
The original HuaShen Miao was built in the year 1568 AD, during the LongQing Reign of the Ming Dynasty. As a vital building in the cities defenses against fires, the building was constructed by none other than the expert workers of the GongBu, the Imperial (Public) Works Department.
In these supersticious times Fire Temples were there THE thing to ward of the danger of City Fires, and more effectively were a daily reminder of the possibility of such a disastrous fire.
Find another Fire God Temple , the one for the Xuanwu District,
The HuaShen Miao aka Chongwen Fire God Temple re-appaears after years of encasement inside irratically built hutong structures.
Views inside the Temple Courtyard. All structures are under renovations and the surrounding Hutong of the Islamic Quarter have been destroyed, making way to for the Luxury Glory Plaza Appartments. These include upscale quarters for the rich with 6 bathrooms and more things unavailable in the earlier Hutong.
The Fire God Temple of ChongwenMen was recently a "dazayaunr" or a mixed courtyard house, an ordinary part of the local Hutong & Alleys which extended from XuanwuMen in the West through QianMen and it's Hutong, through this Hutong and far to the East to the South-East Corner watchtower (Dongnan Jiaolou) of the Old City Walls.
At the Site of HuaShen Miao shoddy brick extensions and subdivisons had been built inside the couryard, diving up the grounds between several families. In the process the Ceremonial Front Gate - the ShanMen - and magical idols designating the Hallowed Ground were removed. The objects, an animal body and a large human head have been untraceable since and could be in storage at a Beijing Museum or illegally sold abroad.
In this way, the Temple Grounds & It's courtyard had been assimilated into the surrounding Hutong of ChongwenMen and became indistinguishable as a Temple location. One of the Families even lived inside the Main Temple Shrine Hall.
The situation remained until...
The Islamic Quarter extended from the City Gate at Chongwen Men southward. Adjacent No. 103 .
Renovated Temple Halls and Courtyard with one of the few remaining older structures standing between ChongwenMen Dongdajie and XiHuaShi Dajie'.
The Xuanwu District Fire God Temple, part of the Hutong at Liu Lichang East Street.
the 4Th, 14Th and 24Th of each successive Lunar Month.
In the 1950's, after the establishment of the Peoples Republic and an end to many human tragedies in China, Beijing, the new capital received an influx of migrants and its population boomed. Many new babies were born into a new Era in China.
Never the most upscale or affluent citizens of the once Imperial Capital, the Hui=Muslim Minority didn't have much options or housing rights. Their Muslim Quarters in the Hutong were therefor overcrowded and (under government policy) many large sihueyuan (or quadrangle house) were subdivided into smaller dwellings, and assigned to local families. This situation remained for half a century of communist rule.
A satellite Image overview of North-Chongwen District, plus a part of DongChengin the North and Xuanwu District in the West.
Find ChongwenMen Nei Dajie leadingup from Tiantan Park's North-Eastern Corner to (former) Chongwen Men Gate. The location of the Fire God Temple is marked.
Very accurate and up to date Map of Beijing City Center , complete area of the Palace Museum (Forbidden City), Square of Heavenly Peace, Beihai (North Lake) Park, the South and Middle Lakes (Zhongnanhai) and area's of surrounding districts of Xicheng, Dongcheng, Chongwen and Xuanwu. Map detail includes names of alley's (Hutong) and even side alley's.
Map clearly marks the location of all Landmarks, Historic Monuments, hotspots and various sites of interest within the map area. Please browse the map and follow the links to additional information, maps and photo's of each location and site.
This page was last updated on: July 1, 2017
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