Eternal Spring Temple (Changchunguan) , Wuhan
Located outside the great eastern gate of Wuchang, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, the Eternal Spring Temple ( 長春觀 Changchun Guan ) adjoins Huhelou in the west and Baota of Hongshan in the east, where the surroundings are quite beautiful. This area used to be covered with green pines, so it was called "island of pines". It is recorded that Laozi, once invited by his disciple, came to Lubu to meet the five elders. He did not stay in Echeng south of the River; instead, he went westward to the "island of tall pine trees", a reference to this place. During the reign of Genghis Khan, Emperor Taizu of the Yuan dynasty, patriarch Qiu Chuji of The Dragon Gate Sect ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) of The Complete Perfection Tradition ( 全真 Quanzhen ) came here and built a temple to cultivate Dao. As his literary name was "eternal spring", the name was called "Eternal Spring Temple" by people of later generations. Ever since then, "Daoist priests gathered in the well-known Chu region near the Changjiang River". The temple became the most famous Daoist temple in Hubei. It had several hundred houses, several thousand devotees, and a large quantity of pilgrims. In the first Xianfeng year of the Qing dynasty (1851), the Eternal Spring Temple was destroyed in wars. In the third Tongzhi year (1864), He Hechun, the master of the sixteenth generation of the Dragon Gate Sect of the Complete Perfection Tradition came here from Mt. Wudang. He took up with kind people widely and begged alms here and there, and finally, he managed to rebuild the Eternal Spring Temple in the style of the Ming dynasty.
The temple was occupied during the "Cultural Revolution". It almost collapsed due to many years of neglect. After the Daoist group regained control, it renovated the temple on a large scale under the support of the local government. Now the temple has taken on an entirely new look.
Standing in the north and facing south, the Eternal Spring Temple is built against the mountain. The whole temple tires upon tire upward. There are five layers in depth and four parallel courts on both sides. Inside the mountain gate first appears the Hall of Numinous Officials ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ), where the Daoist divine king guarding the law Numinous Officials are worshiped. Up the steps out of the Hall of Numinous Officials is the Hall of Supreme Clarity ( 太清殿 Taiqing Dian ). Inlaid in the steps in front of the hall is a refined and vivid carved stone representing five dragons that surround a sage. The hall is magnificent and splendid. Worshiped in the shrine of the hall is a gold-decorated sculpture of The Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ). There are several murals in the hall, among which two pictures, namely "Laozi Went West Out of the Hanguguan Pass" and "Laozi Preaching the Book of Dao and its Virtue ( 道德經 Daodejing )", are very striking. Behind this hall is the Hall of Seven Perfect Ones ( 七真 Qizhen ). It is the place of worship of the seven disciples of Wang Chongyang----Ma Yu, Tan Chuduan, Liu Chuxuan, Qiu Chuji, Hao Datong, Wang Chuyi and Sun Bu'er. This hall is the main hall of the Eternal Spring Temple. It is the place for Daoists in this temple to recite scriptures daily and hold important religious activities. On the left side of this hall is the Merit ( 功德 Gongde ) Shrine. Inlaid in the wall is a picture of the full view of the heavens, "Changchun's Excellent Description of Astronomy". It is of great value for the study of ancient China astronomy. Above the shrine is the famous "Encountering Immortals Bridge", where lucky people are said to be able to meet immortals. On its left is the Hall of Patriarch Lü, where Lü Dongbin, one of The Eight Immortals ( 八仙 Baxian ) is worshiped. On the two sides of the hall there are buildings, such as Laicheng Tower and the library of Daoist scriptures. The topmost place of the Eternal Spring Temple is the Hall of the Three August Ones ( 三皇 Sanhuang ). It worships the ancestors of the Chinese nationality, namely Taihao Fuxi, the Yan Emperor Shennong, and the Yellow Emperor ( 黃帝 Huangdi ) Xuanyuan. Standing outside the Hall of the Three Emperors, overlooking the downtown streets with heavy traffic and watching the solemn and stately temple, you will spontaneously feel aloof from the uproar as if an immortal.
Address: outside the great eastern gate of Wuchang, Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Traveling route: go by city bus in Wuhan City
Tele: 86-27-88871395, 88876079