Lama Temple

Located 3 km (2 miles) north-east of the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple (or Yonghe Gong) is the largest temple in Beijing – a complex of beautiful and stunningly ornate halls and buildings, with uplifted eaves, galleries, courtyards, statues, and incense burners.

Lama Temple was formerly the palatial residence of Prince Yinzhen, who became Emperor Yongzhen (reigned 1722–35); when he moved into the Forbidden City, part of his palace was handed over to Buddhist monks from Tibet and Mongolia to serve as a lamasery, and after his death the whole complex became an administrative centre for this branch of Buddhism.

The main halls of Lama Temple are laid out on a north-south axis, each with treasured statues of the Buddha (or Maitreya) and other sacred figures made of bronze and sandalwood.

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