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Longhua Temple

Longhua Temple is the oldest and largest temple in Shanghai. It was first built in the year 242 AD and has long history of over 1700 years. Most of the buildings in Longhua Temple were reconstructed during the reign of the Emperor Tongzhi and Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty.

Longhua Temple covers an area of over 20,000 square meters and the architectural proportion is about 5,000 square meters. Splendidly constructed, the temple, till today, still keeps the original feature of Buddhist "chan" sect of the Song dynasty. In the temple are kept Buddhist scripture, gold seals and Buddhist statues of the Tang, Five, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Longhua Temple is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha and holds two important Buddha statues.

Accessory halls on the two sides are the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, both of them are furnished with the same hexagonal windows and the curved eaves. On New Year's Eve, the temple bell is traditionally rung to welcome the new year.

Apart from its long history, the allure of the temple also lies in the Longhua Pagoda and the peach blossoms in its courtyard. In the front of the temple sits Longhua Pagoda.Seven stories high, the pagoda measures forty meters in height. Each storey is smaller than the storey below, and all the levels are encircled by balconies and banisters. Bronze bells are hung on each corner of the eaves; when the wind blows, the bells yield a pleasant sound. The Longhua Pagoda and Temple area has been open to the public as Longhua Park.

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