Jincheng City, in Shanxi, is the cradle of Chinese civilization and home of one-third of the ancient architectures built before 1234 AD in China. Shanxi, China has an abundance of coal but Jincheng is most notable for a special blue coal with gives off a fragrance when burned. No wonder the British Royals prefer them in their fireplace.
Qinglin Temple or the Blue Lotus Temple, about 17 kilometer southwest of Jincheng City, is one of the oldest temples in Maitreya’s Pureland in China. Buddhist Monk Huiyuan (慧遠) built the temple in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-559 AD) named Xiashi but later changed to Qinglian in Tang Dynasty (867AD). Huiyuan established this temple known as the literarery center of Buddhism just like the Shaolin Temple, known as the martial arts center.
In its heydays, it stored more than 7,000 scrolls of Buddhist scriptures. Besides served as the library of Buddhism, it was the translation center of the different doctrine of Buddhism.
Over the years from which it was first built in 500 AD, many restorations, constructions, and expansions had been made. To date, it mainly has Song style architecture, murals of Ming and Qing Dynasty, and six painted sculptures of Tang Dynasty. This temple is now protected as cultural relics by the Chinese government. Therefore, all picture taking is forbidden indoors. However, the scenes surrounding the temple is quite serene.