Beijing: Yonghe Temple (雍和宮, Yōng hé gōng)

By Cubie - May 27, 2013

Unlike the rest of attractions we visited prior to this, Ming Tomb only took half a day or so. So we had time to pay a visit to Yonghe Temple. This temple is easily accessable on subway line 2, and it is only a short walk away from the station.

The entrance, I'm not too about those electronic board, it's not very becoming, isn't it?
It is initially built in the Qing Dynasty, as the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was a prince. After his ascension to the throne, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. The balance half remained as an imperial palace.

After Emperor Yongzheng's death, his successor, also his son, Emperor Qianlong gave the temple imperial status. With this, its turquoise tiles were replaced with yellow tiles that were reserved for emperors. Subsequently, the monastery became a lamasery and residence for many Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet.
Edit 28/05/13 - sis said the reason the roof tiles were changed to yellow tiles due to Emperor Yongzheng's coffin was placed in this temple before buried in Western Qing Tombs (清西陵, Qīng Xī Líng).

Usually we got an audio guide each but I decided to give this one a skip, and sis to tell me the story thereafter. According to sis, the information on audio guide were mostly after it has converted to lamasery, not much on its previous status as Prince Yinzhen's residence.

Zoom in

According to the audio guide, by turning this residence to lamasery built rapport among Mongolians, Tibetians and the Manchus, in addition this would ensure the residence being well kept as well. Win win situation eh.

At both sides of the main hall, Yonghegong (Hall of Harmony and Peace), one can find West and East Stele Pavilion (八角碑亭). Inside the pavilions respectively erect a 6 metre high stone tablet engraved with inscriptions of Yonghegong in Manchu, Han, Tibetan and Mongolian languages. East Stele - Manchurian and Han, Tibetan and Mongolian languages on the West Stele Pavilion.

This comes in 4 languages - Mongolian, Tibetan, Chinese and Manchurian (Not sure I get the order correctly though)
Edit: 28/05/13 - sis said it should read from right to left, so should be Manchurian, Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian :)
The hall north of Yonghegong is Yongyoudian (永佑殿). This hall also translated as Hall of Everlasting Protection and used to be Prince Yinzhen's bed chamber.

Further north is Falundian (法轮殿) and Wanfu Pavilion (万福阁). Falundian was formerly the dwelling of the Emperor's wives. Wanfu Pavilion on the other hand, easily recognized as it has three storey.


Wanfu Pavilion

Side note: Craving for a hearty chicken pie!

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  1. These temples manage to look bright, dark, cheerful and forbidding at the same time. I'm still trying to figure out how/why.

    1. I hope the bright & dark has nothing to do with my inconsistent photo ligthing :/

  2. Traditional gate with electronic board? Well, I guess they want to make traditional & modern go hand in hand? ;)

    1. LOL, I don't know but I feel the electronic board just overkill