Some historical landscapes are fading away in people's indifference -
If we drive from Tiananmen Square to the west, after Zhongnanhai Xinhua Gate, the orange-red sunset shines on the approach, far ahead of the street center appeared green island and blue trees surrounded by the straight towering twin towers. The car from the towers to draw an arc around, when the wind chimes crisp sound, that is what a pleasant scene, physical and mental and visual fatigue, will immediately eliminate.
--There is no doubt that this green island and the twin towers will become the classic scenery on Chang'an Street together with Tiananmen Square and Jinshui Bridge.
There have been twin towers on Chang'an Street?
Yes. On the south side of West Chang'an Street Road there was the Da Qing Shou Temple, also known as the Double Pagoda Temple, founded in the Jin Dynasty. The original site was located across from the Telegraph Building today, northwest of the Music Hall.
When the reconstruction and demolition of Chang'an Street after the founding of the country, the famous architect Mr. Liang Sicheng once exclaimed: "Like the twin towers of the Qing Shou Temple in the Golden Age on West Chang'an Street, why must it be demolished? Why can't it be preserved and looked at as a small green space in the center of the street?"
Mr. Liang Sicheng's hand-painted "Twin Towers Preservation Effect
Why? No one responded. The twin towers of Qing Shou Temple disappeared without a sound. The Chang'an Branch Pagoda, once one of the Ten Views of Yanjing, was never to be seen again.
In 1267, when the south wall of the Yuan capital was built, due to the conflict with the Twin Towers Qing Shou Temple, Yuan Shizhu Kublai decreed that the southwest corner of the city wall be moved southward and "built at a distance of 30 paces around it", and the Twin Towers Qing Shou Temple was preserved. It is such an ancient temple, but we completely demolished it after more than six hundred years.
Today let us review the origins and demise of these two vanished pagodas.
Streetscape of West Chang'an Street in Old Beijing
Building monasteries and pagodas is similar to building churches in Western countries. The pagoda is an important symbol of Buddha. Buddhism has always considered the building of pagodas to be of great merit. The pagoda originates from ancient India, the Pali transliteration "Thupo", or "pagoda". The original shape of the pagoda is a square base, a mantle and a spire. The square base symbolizes the Buddha's square robe; the overlapping bowl is the Buddha's bowl; the spire, symbolizing the tin staff. Later, the shape evolved. Since the pagoda came to China, it soon fused with ancient Chinese architecture and formed a unique style. The pagoda shape developed from four-sided, to hexagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal. The pagoda absorbed the traditional Chinese architectural features, forming a combination of building, pavilion, queue and view, rich in great cultural connotation.
The Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple, once called Daxing Long Temple and Ci'en Temple, is located at No. 28 West Chang'an Street and was built during the reign of King Zhangzong (1189~1208). Because of the southwest corner of the temple there are two exquisite and beautiful, towering and spectacular brick towers, left and right embracing the stand, and the people are commonly known as the "Double Tower Temple".
In the late Jin and early Yuan dynasties, the most important religious leader in the north, Zen Master Haiyun Yinjian, abided in Qingshou Temple and led Buddhism throughout the country. At that time, the Qing Shou Temple was a large scale, covering an area of 100 hectares, pine shade full court, complete and spectacular, the incense flourished, its beautiful scenery for the capital of the first of the temples.
Plan view of Shuangta Qingshou Temple during the Republic of China
(Scale: 1:400, unit: meters. Size: 23.2 longitudinal, 17.2 horizontal cm)
Double Pagoda Temple has a beautiful architectural style, a solemn temple, 57 houses and many Buddha statues, and is an ancient temple of several dynasties.
Stone forehead of the Double Pagoda Qingshou Temple (now hidden in the Capital Museum)
There are two monument pavilions in the temple, and the monument is divided into two books, "Flying Rainbow Bridge" and "Flying Ferry Bridge", with a strong brush, full of ink, written by Jin Zhangzong himself. There is a gurgling stream flowing in front of the pavilion, and the surrounding ancient trees show the solemn and dignified royal style.
Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple Weeping Gate
The Hall of the Third Buddha at Shuangta Qingshou Temple
The mountain gate is three rooms to the south, and the stone forehead is "Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple". The temple building has a pendant door, three Buddha hall, ancestor hall, land hall. It is dedicated to Maitreya Buddha, Vairocana, the Three Great Masters, Zhenwu Emperor, Guandi, Vulcan, Luzu, Thousand Hands Buddha, the spirit of Haiyun Zen Master, and the spirit of Kean Zen Master.
The twin pagodas of Gyeongsuji Temple
The twin pagodas are located on the west side of the temple. Among the twin pagodas, the nine-story pagoda on the north side is the pagoda of Gwangjeon Poojung Buddha Rikuwon Myunghaeun Woohyung Kokushi; the seven-story pagoda on the south side is the spiritual pagoda of Buddha Rikuwon Choling Great Zen Master Hoan.
The Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple in the late Qing Dynasty, with the Chang'an Street pagoda in the distance
The Twin Pagodas of Qingshou Temple, North of West Chang'an Street Road, Beijing (1909)
Double Pagoda Gyeongju Temple around 1820s
In 1925, the casket of Dr. Sun Yat-sen was moved from Zhongshan Park to Biyun Temple, passing in front of the Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple.
In the Ming Dynasty, there is a poem about the Double Pagoda Temple: "The stone pagodas are in the west of the Royal Garden, and the two geese in the sky know how to recruit. The sound of the wind is stirring, and the clouds of immortal palms are divided into two. It seems to lead the eider towards the emperor's palace, does not bother the sounding horse to protect the Zen habitat? Chang'an sunset chariot ride, where to meet people's road is not lost."
Chang'an Branch Tower" of the Ten Views of Yanjing
People in old Beijing describe the existence of the twin towers as follows: in the morning when the sun seems to be out, standing outside the old Chang'an Theatre at the southeast corner of the Xidan Pailou and looking east, you will see two towers, one in the south of the road and one in the north of the road. This beautiful image caused by optical effects is one of the "Ten Views of Yanjing", the "Chang'an Pagoda".
The twin pagodas of Gongshou Temple under demolition in 1954
In 1954, due to the narrow road from Xidan to Xinhuamen, it was decided to raze the Qingshou Temple and the twin towers, which were built in the Golden Age and stood in the midst of hundreds of years of wind and rain, and to build a telegraph building on the original site.
The 1950s was a time of great construction. When a new doctrine emerged, "breaking down the old" became a necessary way to open the way. The city was characterized by its cultural diversity, heterogeneity and complexity. The word "break" is a quick and painful way to cut through the chaos. Like a ploughshare, but what is sown in the soil after a deep turn? Is it clear wheat or potatoes?
The construction of Chang'an Street was given the meaning of a symbolic "socialist avenue" - straight, wide and flat, which became the value orientation of building China's first avenue. This is the same as the urban planning of Beijing today, which still influences the construction of large and small towns across the country.
In 1955, the expansion of West Chang'an Street involved the twin pagodas of Da Qing Shou Temple. Only Liang Sicheng, a professor at Tsinghua University and a famous architect, dared to offer a different opinion. He suggested that the private houses around the twin pagodas could be demolished, and the twin pagodas could be preserved and a street green could be created, which would not only protect the cultural relics, but also enrich the street landscape. Although the pagodas have been integrated into mainstream Chinese culture for thousands of years, they are still associated with Buddhism after all. Naturally, Liang Sicheng's proposal went unheeded and could not be adopted.
Telegraph building in 1959
In 1955, the Double Pagoda Temple was demolished along with other surrounding buildings during a massive reconstruction project on Beijing's West Chang'an Street.
Chang'an Street widening project, together with the twin towers need to be demolished, as well as the East and West Chang'an Street pagodas, as well as the Qianmen Street and Zhengyangmen Bridge pagoda and other ancient buildings.
Luo Zhewen, president of the Chinese Cultural Relics Society, recalled: "The demolition of the imperial temple pagoda, Mr. Liang Sicheng cried for days. Name for the demolition, but the relocation site was not implemented in advance, the demolition of a pile of material later also do not know where to go; Dagao Xuan Hall in front of the original two Xi Li Pavilion, Xi Li Pavilion and the Forbidden City, similar to the corner tower, more beautiful than the corner tower, was also demolished, said the demolition, but relocated to where? Not set down, is also demolished a pile of material, later unknown where, probably in the 'Cultural Revolution' as firewood burned."
Stone statue of Zen Master Haiyun (once enshrined in White Pagoda Temple)
Jun kiln incense burner in the sarcophagus of Zen Master Haiyun
Pagoda Inscription on the Pagoda of Zen Master Haiyun at Keishu Temple
During the demolition process, the stone statue of Zen Master Haiyun, the inscription of Zen Master Haiyun, silk fabrics, the relics of Zen Master Haiyun and Zen Master Ke'an, and the small offering case of nan wood were unearthed from the pagoda and are now collected in the Capital Museum in Beijing.
Stone statue of Zen Master Haiyun (now in the Capital Museum, Beijing)
At the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty, Zen Master Haiyun was ordained as a national master and was highly respected by the royal family. Under the prevalence of Tibetanism in the Yuan dynasty, he made great efforts to promote the tenets of Linji and greatly invigorate the Zen style. He had fourteen distinguished disciples under his tutelage, among whom Ke'an Langgong is the most famous.
Monument of Great Zen Master Haiyun of Xidang, Da Qing Shou Temple (Yang)
Engraved topography in the fifth year of Emperor Xianzong's reign (1255) (159 vertical by 102 horizontal cm)
Ke'an Langgong, known as Zen Master Zhi Lang, the Dharma heir of Zen Master Hai Yun, succeeded him as the abbot of Da Qing Shou Temple. He erected the "Monument of the Great Zen Master Haiyun in the West Hall of Yanjing Daqing Shou Temple" (now moved to Fayuan Temple in Beijing) for Zen Master Haiyun.
Da Qing Shou Temple Xidang Hai Yun Da Chan Shi Tablet (Yin) Topography
(126 cm in length, 104 cm in width)
After the death of Ke'an Langgong, he was also buried in a pagoda on the west side of Gyeongju Temple. From then on, there was a landscape in the west of Keishu Temple in Beijing - "Haiyun and Kean Twin Pagodas". Since then, the twin towers have become not only an important symbol of the temple, but also a landmark of the area.
Beijing Old Town
He also passed on his disciple Liu Bingzhong, whose name is Zicong, to be the 18th abbot of Qingshou Temple. During the reign of the Chondo, Liu Bingzhong was recommended by the Zen master Haiyun and was able to gain the support of Kublai, who was responsible for the planning and construction of the imperial city, palace and capital city of Yanjing, the Great City.
Location of the Twin Pagodas Qingshou Temple in Beijing (circled in red)
Location of Shuangta Qingshou Temple in the remote sensing image (at the yellow circle)
The Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple has witnessed the development of Beijing from the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties to the reign of Yuan Shikai in the Republic of China ...... History says that the Double Pagoda Temple came first and then Chang'an Street. When the South City Wall of the Yuan Capital was built in 1267, due to the conflict with the Double Pagoda Qing Shou Temple, the Yuan Shizhu Kublai decreed that the southwest corner of the city wall be moved southward, "far Thirty paces away from the ring and built", the twin towers Qing Shou Temple was preserved. What kind of people have such courage today?
A Sumerian lotus pedestal from the Double Pagoda Temple is upside down in the Great Scales Hook Hutong
Abandoned remnants of a pillar by the roadside in Bei'anli Hutong
Beijing was the ancient capital of Yan, and later the ancient capital of the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, although it is not the Central Plains, but there are many ancient monuments, and its ancient pagodas also flourished in Yan. The disappearance of the ancient pagodas in Beijing (including the suburbs) is an integral part of the non-renewable and significant loss of the ancient architectural heritage of the Chinese nation. The disappearance of the ancient pagodas in Beijing is a microcosm of the fate of Beijing's monuments and a projection of China's modern history. In other words, from the disappearance of the ancient pagodas in Beijing, we can see the shame and sadness of China's modern history, as well as certain shadows and undercurrents in China's contemporary history, and the ignorance of the leaders and people of a bygone era and the contempt for historical heritage in modern history.
Other ancient pagodas that have disappeared in Beijing.
The destruction of the ancient pagoda in Beijing began in 1860. When the British and French invaded Beijing and burned down the Yuanmingyuan, all the stone towers in the garden were lost, including the glazed tower of the Yuanmingyuan Fahui Temple and two stone towers. 1900, when the Eight-Power Allied Forces captured Beijing, they blew up the Lingguang Temple Zhaoxian Pagoda, an octagonal 13-step solid brick pagoda built in the Liao Dynasty, which is a national treasure of ancient architecture, and only the base of the pagoda remained after the bombing.
In the 1950s, Beijing's ancient buildings faced a critical situation, with the demolition of the ancient city wall and all its gates, the China Gate and other historic districts, as well as the ancient pagodas.
Beijing's ancient pagodas suffered tremendous damage in the 1950s and 1960s. Not only were the national treasures damaged, but their pagodas also disappeared in large numbers during this period, and all the ancient pagodas were destroyed by human hands in places easily accessible to all. The pagodas that have been preserved are all located in deep mountainous areas.
Hazang Temple Pagoda (Gold - Ruins)
Old photos taken in the Republican period / built in the year of Kim Dae-ding, demolished in 1967
Dongcheng Tieta Temple Pagoda (Ming?) Destroyed)
Photo taken in the Republican period / built in the Ming Dynasty; demolished in the 1970s
Lama Pagoda of Hongren Temple, Beihai (Qing Dynasty - Legacy Figure)
Scenic postcard with dragon flag picture of Qing Dynasty
Baota Temple Pagoda (Ming - Ruins)
Photograph of the Pagoda of Pagoda Temple taken in 1933
Hong Hua Temple Da Ji Old Man Pagoda (Liao - Ruins)
Suspected to be a Liao pagoda; octagonal seven-stage solid brick pagoda with dense eaves; Status: . Destroyed
The twin pagodas of Mercy Chung Temple (Tang-Liao-site)
Three Pagodas Temple Pagoda (Ming - Ruins)
Built during the Xuande period of the Ming Dynasty; the three towers were tomb towers; they were destroyed in the Qing Dynasty before and during the contemporary period.
Protectorate Lama Pagoda (Yuan Twin Pagodas - Legacy Figure)
Old photos taken during the Republican period / Tower for Ming Xuande four years (1429); demolished in 1949
Spider Pagoda of Cihui Temple (Ming - Ruins)
Yeonsuji Monk Pagoda (Ming site - four)
Ritan Huangguan Three Pagodas (Yuan and Ming?) Legacy Map)
Built in the Ming and Qing dynasties; double pagodas with square dense eaves and mantle; demolished in 1951
Gyeongsuji Pagoda Forest (Golden Site - dozens of pagodas)
Ba Da Di Ling Guang Si Zhaoxian Pagoda (Liao - Base Site)
Built in the seventh year of Liao Xian Yong (1701); octagonal 13-step brick pagoda with dense eaves, enshrining the Buddha's tooth relic; destroyed by the Eight-Power Allied Forces in 1900, only the base of the pagoda remains
Fahai Temple Overstreet Pagoda (Qing Dynasty - Remains)
Fahai Temple Gate - Remains of Fahai Temple Crossing Tower
Babaoshan Chongguo Temple Pagoda Grove (Ten - Ruins)
Spiritual Pagoda of Jin'an Xuangong, Chongguo Temple, Babaoshan (Yuan - Legacy Figure)
Yuan Pagoda; Octagonal seven-story brick pagoda with dense eaves: it is suspected to have been destroyed
Shijingshan Shuangquan Temple Prayer Pagoda (demolished - ruins)
Shijingshan Jinge Temple Relic Pagoda (Ruins)
Shijingshan Xianliang Temple Pagoda (Pagoda Courtyard Site)
Glazed Pagoda of Huachengge in Summer Palace (Qing Dynasty - destroyed)
Destroyed in 1860 when the British and French forces attacked Beijing
Yuanmingyuan Fahui Temple Liuli Pagoda (three in Qing Dynasty - destroyed)
Duobao Liuli Pagoda／Destroyed around 1900. The remnants of the stone base can be seen in the original place now
Phoenix Ridge Ruiyunan Pagoda Group (Four - Ruins)
Haidian Hanging A Pagoda (Qing-contemporary reconstruction)
West Mountain Reclining Buddha Temple Pagoda (Qing Dynasty - destroyed)
Baozang Temple Pagoda (Ming?) Ruins)
Haidian Dobao Pagoda Zen Temple Pagoda Forest (Ming and Qing dynasties twenty-seven-legacy map)
Old picture of the pagoda and the pagoda forest of Master Penryong of the Dobotan Pagoda Zen Monastery
Haidian Shuanglin Temple Pagoda (Ming - Ruins)
Haidian Laughing Ancestor Pagoda Courtyard (Ming 14 - Ruins)
Haidian Xuan Tong Pagoda (Ming - destroyed)
Mentougou Guangzhi Zen Temple Overstreet Pagoda (Ming-Relic)
Ming Dynasty built a street crossing tower; only the pedestal now exists
Mentougou Caitai Temple pagoda forest (50 surviving 2-site)
Mentougou Chong Hua Temple Ming Pagoda Group Ruins (Ming - ten)
Mentugou Quyin Temple Zunsheng Buddha Pagoda (Yuan-Relic)
Mentougou East Spirit Mountain Stone Pagoda (Tang - destroyed)
Yunju Temple South Pagoda (Sui, Tang, Liao - Ruins)
Built in the seventh year of Liao Tianqing (1117); destroyed in the Japanese war
Tiankai Temple Pagoda Forest in Fangshan (dozens of pagodas - ruins)
Fangshan Chongfu Temple Pagoda ( Liao - destroyed)
Built in Sui and Tang dynasties, rebuilt in Liao dynasty; octagonal 13-story solid brick tower with dense eaves; collapsed in 1977
Fangshan Lianquan Temple Pagoda Courtyard (Ming Seven Seats - Ruins)
Tongzhou Chongjue Temple Pagoda (Jin - Ruins)
Tongzhou Baoguang Temple Pagoda (Yuan?) site)
Yuan Dynasty? Built, destroyed in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake
Shunyi Nanguan Pagoda (Liao-Relic)
Built in the 25th year of the Liao Dynasty (1007), it is an octagonal, 13-story brick pagoda with dense eaves; the remnants were demolished in the 1960s
Changping Heping Temple Pagoda Forest (Ruins)
Longquan Temple Pagoda in Qincheng, Changping (Liao Three - Legacy Name)
Appendix: Changping Half-truncated Pagoda (Liao - Legacy Foundation)
Daxing Kangzhuang Pagoda Forest (25 pagodas-site)
Huairou Dinghui Temple Twin Pagodas (Ming - relic name)
Miyun Xinchengzi Pagoda (Liao - posthumous name)
Secret Thousand Layers Pagoda (Song - Ruins)
Miyun Shuangtaji Pagoda (Ruins)
Yanqing Baita Temple Pagoda (Liao Yuan?) site)
It is suspected to be built in the Jin Dynasty, square five-story pagoda; destroyed in 1986, the base of the pagoda remains