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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 14, 2021
Headline for 5 Beijing Religious Sites – Explore the religious culture of Beijing, China
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Beijing Religious Sites – Explore the religious culture of Beijing, China

When it comes to getting to know the culture of your destination, there is no better way to do it than to explore the religious spots the destination has to offer. Beijing may seem like a flourishing metropolis now, but ancient temple still exists in special nooks and crannies.


Beijing Lama Temple

This is one of the most amazing temple structures in the city of Beijing and is called Yonghe Lamasery, Lama Temple or Yonghegong. This ancient temple was built in the 33 Qing Kangxi in 1694 and has been preserved well since then to become the Lamasery of the Yellow Sect in Beijing. This temple was once the home of Emperor Yongzheng when he was a prince. The Qing Dynasty however in 1744 decided to use the place as a lamasery and thus is not the national centre of Lama administration.


White Cloud Taoist Temple

Back in the time of the Tang Dynasty, this temple was built and called the Temple of the Supreme Ultimate. The temple gained fame after a master who was teaching at the temple passed away and was buried here. The monk's followers then named the temple Baiyunguan which translates to White Cloud Temple as it is known today. Monks still live here and are quite approachable if you would like to know more about the temple and its history. It is also the China Taoism Association's headquarters today.


Niujie Mosque

This mosque is quite special as it is not the typical dome-shaped mosque with spires reaching high. Instead, the Chinese culture is embedded into the design of the mosque to keep its authenticity. The Ox Street Mosque was founded over a thousand years ago and is the oldest one in Beijing. This religious site is just a 24-minute drive away from Ascott Raffles City Beijing.


Eastern Church

This magnificent church was initiated in the 12th year by the emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty back in 1655. The church was then rebuilt in 1904 and was called St. Joseph's Church. This was the second Catholic church to be built in Beijing, the first being the south Church built by an Italian preacher named Matteo Ricci just as the reign of the Ming Dynasty was coming to an end. In the 1980s, the government refurbished the church once more. It is easily reachable from Beijing serviced apartments.


Tanzhe Temple

This is yet another historic temple in Beijing and the locals usually say, "First came Tanzhe, then came Beijing". The name of the temple translates to the "Temple of Pool and Zhe Tree". In the early days, there was a pool behind the temple surrounded by mulberry bush-like trees called the Zhe Tree. The Western Jin Dynasty built the Tanzhe temple back in 307 AD. Since then its name has been changed by the Juan, Qing, Yuan and Ming dynasties as they ruled. The expansion of the temple took place in 1692 and was renamed, Xiuyun Temple.