Temple of the Northern Peak (Hengshan, Shanxi)

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The main temple of Mt. Heng, called the Northern Peak in Daoism ( 北岳恒山 Beyue Hengshan ), is the Hall of the Ancestral Heng ( 恒宗殿 Hengzong Dian ), also called the Hall of the Right Origin ( 貞元殿 Zhenyuan Dian ), the Hall of the Original Soul ( 元靈殿 Yuanling Dian ), or commonly the Audience Hall ( 朝殿 Chaodian ). Set against a steep cliff and facing a deep valley, it is a magnificent construction on the southern flank of the Heavenly Summit Peak ( 天峰嶺 Tianfeng Ling ). First built in the 14th year (1501) of the Hongzhi reign of the Ming Dynasty, it has a single-brim mountainous sloping gate with red door leaves, copper tacks, green tiles and red walls. Surrounding the mountain gate are the Hall of the Green Dragon ( 青龍殿 Qinglong Dian ) in the east and the Hall of the White Tiger ( 白虎殿 Baihu Dian ) in the west. With a single-brim mountainous sloping roof, the Main Hall has eight chambers surrounded by cloisters. The statue of the Great Emperor of the Northern Peak ( 北岳大帝 Beiyue Dadi ), wearing a Heavenly Crown ( 天平冠 Tianping Guan ) and a red silk robe, sits upright and elegantly in the hall. Above the deity's seat hangs the stele of "Everlasting Civilization" written by Emperor Kangxi. On both sides reverently stand four civil officials and four grand marshals. In front of the hall lies an iron-cast cloud plate ( 雲牌 Yunpai ) of the Yuan Dynasty. Dozens of stone steles outside the hall are important materials for the study of Daoism in the Northern Sacred Mountain. At both sides of the main hall lie the side rooms, wardrobes, sutra tower, bell tower and drum tower.