Qingtang Temple on Dragon Horn Mountain (Fushan County, Shanxi)

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Originally named Sheep Horn Mountain, Dragon Horn Mountain is located in Fushan County, Shanxi. According to legend, in the 3rd year (620)of the Wude Era of the Tang, Jin Shanxing, a local of Jin Prefecture, saw a manifestation of Laozi. Laozi requested Ji to tell Li Yuan, that Laozi was an ancestor of the Emperor and that the royal family of Li would own the country for a long time. Pleased with the words, Li Yuan mandated to build a shrine of Laozi in the mountain and changed the county name from Fushan to Shenshan (divine mountain) and the mountain name from Sheep Horn Mountain to Dragon Horn Mountain. Ji was given an official post. Since then Laozi or Li Er was regarded as the royal ancestor and Daoism the royal religion. At the time of the Xuanzong Emperor, eunuch Gao Lishi expanded the temple under the royal mandate and renamed it as Qingtang Temple. The Emperor wrote the Qingtang Temple Inscribed Record of the Saints ( 《慶唐觀紀聖銘》Qingtang Guan Jisheng Ming ) and had six emperors’ portraits worshipped in the temple. The Qingtang Temple then was very large and owned much property and real estate. Suffering from the riots during the end of the Tang and the Five Dynasties, the temple became dilapidated for lack of repair for a long time. In the 1st year (1004) of the Jingde Era of the Zhenzong Emperor of the Song, the General Supervising Priest Liang Zhizhen appealed in the capital for the court to repair the temple and got approval. Under the leadership of Shenshan County Mayor Han Wang, the Hall of Supreme Sovereign, the Hall of the Pristine Ones and the Hall of Three Emperors were built. In the 5th year (1027) of the Tiansheng Era of the Renzong Emperor of the Song, the temple was renamed as Tiansheng Palace. In the 7th year (1303) of the Dade Era of the Yuan, the Hall of Three Emperors crumbled to dust in a severe earthquake in Fushan County. In 1926, the Hall of the Pristine Ones was committed to the flames in a fire disaster. In 1948, the Hall of Supreme Sovereign was torn down to support the Liberation War. After liberation, Dragon Horn Mountain became a mine and the Daoist sacred place of the former times disappeared. Recently, people began to rebuild Qingtang Temple, which once again houses some Daoist priests and has become a Daoist activities site. The Qingtang Temple’s Inscribed Record of the Saint by Emperor Xuanzong has survived the great changes of the world and is collected in the Record of Dragon Horn Mountain ( 《龍角山記》Longjiao Shan Ji ) in the 19th Volume of The Daoist Canon.