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Thursday, February 03, 2011

N. China - Day 7, Part 3 - Pingyao: City God Temple

"I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time." - Orson Welles

***

N. China
Day 7 - 5th November - Pingyao: City God Temple
(Part 3)

Next was the Cheng Huang Miao (City God Temple).

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Entrance gate

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Entrance

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"Town God Temple is one of few Taoist architectural inheritances and it is famed for its magnificence, profound connotation, and fancy structure... embo-diment of the thought of 'human and deity co-running' are uncommon historical bequest"

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Horseman and rider

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Other horseman and rider

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Guides for the day. At least they looked less like clones than at the previous place

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This was the first courtyard and the trees are mother and son trees

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"Notice the safety" ("Mind your head")

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Zhongkui Hall (a prayer hall)

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I think this is a judge.

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Hell scene. Note the demons' moobs

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Another hell scene

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Six Cao Hell ("office governing ghosts")

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Another hell scene

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Stage, which is 200+ years old
The top extends layer by layer to gather sound
You will recognise the passage below as the one with the low ceiling (low for me, anyway)

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"Giving Babies Hall"
This is actually the reincarnation granny. Notice that all the babies are boys.

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Land God Temple

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Entrance to the Fortune God Temple (and reverse)

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Temple courtyard

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Gods in boxes

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"God of Wealth Hall"
This was the most important Hall in the temple
In the middle is the God of Wealth. There's Guan Yu also, for some reason ("Military God of Wealth Guan Gong blessing prosperous business").

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Zhenwu Building plaque

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I like this "Beware of the slope" sign
The "Hygiene Movement" flag beside makes it even funnier

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Zhenwu Building mural (and statues) (I think)
Yue Fei is the human without 3 eyes

The god Zhenwu han an entourage of 6. 4 were marshalls. Zhenwu helped a Zhou emperor with a Shang one.

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Glazed bricks on second level

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This should be the God and his Wife referred to in the "Sleeping Quarters" sign, which was downstairs from this (we didn't follow what was presumably the recommended route of descending the stairs before moving to the next building)

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Mural and maidens

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Qing Dynasty frescoes in Sleeping Quarters

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Sleeping Quarters

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Shishen Hall

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Mural of the Tongzhi emperor either going out in a procession or coming back (the 2 scenes face each other on opposite walls)

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City God Temple main hall

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Weapons in rack: parade stuff

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A strange family portrait of the Earth God, his wife, his sons and his daughters-in-law
长子 looks like a merchant
次子 looks like a 宫 (official)
三子 looks like a 书生 (scholar)
四子 is a 佩剑 (someone who carries a sword)
五子 looks like a bandit

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Kitchen God Temple

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Horse and painting

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Other horse and painting

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Bell Tower

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Strange fruit-flavoured drinks

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"Traditional foot massage helps you to have peaceful trip and good health. At your our shop we provide quiet encironment professional service and reasonable price"
Bilingual foot massage
The French version has slightly more errors

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"Police Battalion of the Ancient City Management Duties... to warmly receive letters and visits from the masses... to close manage ancienty city gates and '干' character streets"

I have no idea what "dry" streets are, but receiving written compliments is a cool duty to have.

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Tower


I saw 3-4 times as many dogs today as I had in the rest of China combined. It was no coincidence that I found a place which sold dogmeat!

I saw a snooker place called 小天鹅 (Little Swan) which had pictures of girls in sleazy poses and holding cues on the wall. Apparently all snooker places are like that.
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