The Fa Xing Temple is but a small and usually overlooked Temple situated along Jinbao Street in the Dongcheng District of Beijing. Not on the list of the main stream of tourists and international travelers flocking to Beijing who would rather dwell to the more grandiose and spectacular sites the Faxing Temple draws little or no attention.
History of Faxing Temple :
As with its nearby, larger and more interesting counterpart the much more visited Zhi Hua Buddhist Temple, the Faxing Temple is one of the more ancient Temples of the city, with its origins dating back to the Ming Dynasty Era (1368 AD - 1644 AD). Although ancient, the Faxing Temple is not as old as Zhihua Temple which dates to the earliest years of the Ming. The original Faxing Temple was built
Fa Xing Temple
Map of DongCheng District with Location of Zhi Hua Temple, Faxing Temple and Galaxy soho. Click Map to go to Full Version.
Faxing was never a large place of spectacular architecture, hence it was a temple mostly renowned for its frescoes.
Faxing Temple - Directions / How to Get There :
Recently moved from its original location at the Shengfang Hutong , a Hutong Street which disappeared when Jinbao Street was extended westward through the hutong to reach the second ring road, today the Temple stands at the corner of Jinbao Street and Xiaoyabao Lane. It currently seems to be composed of just one building, which can be found at No. 51 along the north side of the western section of Jinbao Street, a main throughfare in the eastern Dongcheng District. This Temple Building does not seem to be open to the Public. No signs giving opening hours are posted on the exterior, although left and ajacent there is a small gate adjacent of which there are the usual two plaquettes identifying the site as an ancient protected cultural relic under
A Frontal of the one building of Faxing Temple located at Jinbao Street. All windows an doors are locked shut.
State Protection December 2013. On the afternoon of our visit there was no sign of any activity at the building or the gate adjacent. People go back and forth along Jingbao Street but hardly anyone seems to pay any attention to the Temple Building.
NORTH OF JINBAO STREET:
Although at the moment it does not seem that Faxing Temple is a much spectacular site, it may be interesting to just pass by when browsing around Jinbao Street and the smaller alleys due north of Jinbao.
If you had not already, one option is to walk into the alleys north of Jinbao Street and pitch your way north-
Above: On the left side of the Main and seemingly only Hall of Faxing Temple stands a small gate. A plaquette attached to the red chalked wall identifies the site as a Cultural Historical Relic under State Protection. Below: text of the inscribed plaquette.
eastward to the oldest Ming Dynasty Era Temple in the city of Beijing. This nearby Temple is known as the Zhihua Temple which offers a site of considerably more interest. Among the treasures are a fairly unique ancient stone library cabinet especially crafted to hold the sacred buddhist scriptures as well as a prayer hall holding precious statues with their original Ming Era decorations. Both treasure items are rarely seen anywhere else.
The much larger Zhihua Temple lies hidden away in the Hutong allowing it be a rather tranquil site. Identified by its outer red walls and a while marbled official Ming Style Gate the Zhihua Temple is situated at the western end of Lumicang (Hutong),
After visiting the Zhihua Temple one could move on northward to have a look at the ultra-modern architecture of fairly renowned Galaxy Soho building which has been constructed on the west side of ChaoyangMen, just inside and along the second ring road.
From Galaxy Soho building take the subway from Chaoyangmen Station to head back to your hotel or reach any other destination in the old city of Beijing.
SOUTH OF JINBAO STREET:
For anyone in search of some of the ancient Hutong charm for which the city of Beijing was famous not too long ago, as with the block to the north, the block along the south side of Jinbao Street offers some space for exploration and dicovery.
To the south of Jinbao Street lies another city block disected by small alleys some of which hide more small Hutong Gems in the form of ancient gates and courtyards. Although there are no major historic landmarks to be found there you could head to the south side of the street and reach to very eastern end of Jinbao Street to cut south and explore the Hutong. At this location stands an officially protected ancient courtyard of Beijing with in the adjoining alleys a number of old or recently restored Courtyard Gates of considerable interest.
As a last option one might travel westward up on Jinbao Street to find the most interesting Traditional Chinese Medicine dispensary on the corner of Jinbao Street and Chaoyangmen South Alley.
The text on the inscribed plaquette speaks of a relocation of the Temple in the year 2002.
Satellite Image Map of Faxing Temple and surrounding area of Beijing, by AsiaReport.com