The legendary Laozi is said to have been born in the "Temple of the Green Goat" (Qing Yang Gong). The Chinese word Qing can mean green, blue or black. Laozi was the founder of Daoism, his book "Dao De Jing" (The way of virtue) became world famous. (Don't call it Taoism, tao is the peach, dao is the way.)
The temple was built in the Zhou dynasty (1045-256 BC). Laozi most likely lived in the "Zhanguo Period" (period of the Warring States) between 403-221 BC. The complex was used by the Tang King Yuzong, who had fled to exile in 881 AD. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the former Tang Palace was destroyed by soldiers. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the temple was rebuilt until 1671.
The main hall of the "Qingyang Gong" temple is called "Sanqing Dian" (Palace of the 3 Pure). According to the Daoist teaching, the "Dao" (The Way of Virtue) produced one (Wuji), one led to two (Taiji), two led to three (Yin and Yang) and three led to everything else. The famous two goats stand in front of the palace. If you stroke the goat's back, all worries should go away. If you caress the head and stomach, headaches and stomach aches should go away.
The Doumu Pavilion is dedicated to the highest female goddess, also known as "Xi Wang Mu" (Queen Mother of the West). Another building is the "Yu Huang Dian" (Jade Emperor Hall). The "Jade Emperor" is the supreme deity of Daoism. There is also a hall of Tang Kings "Tang Wang Dian". The buildings of the temple complex are arranged on a central axis, in a garden landscape. The Green Goat Temple is Chengdu's most famous landmark.
The statue of Mao Zedong, in front of the Sichuan Sciene and Technology Museum has become the landmark of Chengdu. The Great Chairman at Tian Fu Square, looks like a relict from long time ago. Mao greets the people just as in the 1950s. Mao is highly respected by taxi drivers as lucky charm. Most Chinese people say he did good things and bad things, they do not judge and say he was good or bad.
The Wenshu Monastery is a vibrant, Buddhist temple complex built around 420. In Ming Dynasty, the monastery was destroyed and rebuilt in 1697. The classical system has a north-south direction and is composed of many courtyards and halls.
The most famous tea house in Chengdu is located directly on the lake in the Renmin Gongyuan (People's Park). Old men with long metal instruments offer to clean your ears. But it is more pleasant to enjoy the delicious tea. The tea house is one of the top attractions of Chengdu. You can sit outside and watch the goings-on in the Chaguan at your leisure. There are young women holding a tea ceremony in historical robes, ear cleaners, children playing and other interesting people to watch. The tea house at Renmin Gongyuan is a must do in Chengdu.
The ZhaojueTemple is one of the largest temple complexes of Chengdu. The classical arrangement of the individual buildings, served as a model for many temples in China and Japan. The great pagoda of the "Zhaojue Si" is the major attraction of the temple. At the entrance you will see a big "FU" character which means happiness.
The straw hut of the poet Du Fu is located in a large park with a Chinese Garden and shops of artisans. Du Fu was a poet who is still revered throughout China. He came to Chengdu in 760 and lived here for a few years as a hermit. The hut in the "Du Fu Caotang" is a replication, but it is a major attraction of Chengdu, not only for chinese people.
The "Wuhou Citang" is a spacious park with temples, memorial halls, restaurants and a burial mound with magnificent stone figures. Therefor the Wuhou Citang is one of the top sights of Chengdu. The Wuhou ancestral temple was designed to honor Emperor Liu Bei and General Zhuge Liang. Both famous figures of the Three Kingdoms "San Guo" 208-280 AD. Tip: East of the Wuhou Citang, there is a historical street (Jinli Gujie) with restaurants and shops.
Wang Jian was the founder of the Early Shu Empire "Qian Shu Guo". He ruled from his capital Chengdu an area which corresponds approximately to the present Sichuan province between 907-918. A precious jade belt was found in his tomb, which was discovered in 1943.
The shopping street "Qintai Lu", near the "Green ram temple", has been rebuilt according to historic buildings. The shops offer goods for tourists, such as tea and calligraphy. At the northern entrance of the "Old Town" stands a beautiful "Pailou" gate. It's easy to find, it's right at Tong Hui Men subway station.
Around the "Chunxi Lu", there are many shopping streets and pedestrian zones. This is the urban center of Chengdu. Here one can find the big department stores and shopping centers. From Zhong Shan Square shopping streets go in all directions.
Tip: There are very good restaurants on the upper floors of the new shopping centers.
Tianfu Square is the heart of Chengdu. Tianfu is also the largest subway junction. From a bird's eye view the square looks like a gigantic yin and yang sign. "Tianfu" has the meaning of Paradise and is also used as name for the province of Sichuan.
In Chengdu almost every high-rise building is illuminated at night. The skyscrapers of Chengdu are not as high as in other Chinese cities, but they are many. Some of them are interesting for their kind of architecture. Even if Chengdu is dominated by new towers, the socialist charm has still been preserved at many places.
Welcome to Chengdu
Chengdu is with 11 million inhabitants, the capital of the Sichuan province. Chengdu is located in the "Red Basin", a plain of 200,000 km²with four rivers. The name "Si-Chuan" means "four rivers". Sichuan is known for its spicy cuisine. The most famous dishes of the "Sichuan cuisine" are Gongbao Jiding and Mapo Dofu. Chengdu is considered to be one of the most livable cities in China. From the more than 5,000 years of history, many ancient buildings and temples have been preserved. The most famous landmark of Chengdu ist the "Mao Statue" in front of the Sichuan Science Museum. The best place in Chengdu, is the Tea-Garden at Renmin Gongyuan.
The center of Chengdu can be explored on foot. The subway system will be extended to 10 lines, which already connect large parts of the city. Besides many historic buildings and temples, Chengdu has beautiful parks and gardens. Silence can be found in Renmin Gongyuan and in the park where the straw hut of Dufu is located. If you want to see the cute panda bear, visit the Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu.