Saturday, September 21, 2013

Zhihua Temple

Tathagata Hall and Wanfo Pavilion at Zhihua Temple in Beijing

Last weekend we headed out on Sunday afternoon to visit the Zhihua Temple. Margot had visited the temple a few weeks earlier with a weekday tour group. This temple was built in 1444 and is one of the few wooden structures still around from that time period.
The Bell Tower at Zhihua Temple in Beijing

One interesting note. To see the ceiling of the hall in the top picture you have to go to the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City. The monks sold it to raise cash in the 1930's.  See a picture and description here --->  Nelson-Atkins Exhibit

There is another ceiling from another hall in Philadelphia ---> Philadelphia Museum of Art

These  first two pictures are what we expected to find - a quiet temple with classic Chinese architecture.

Here is what we found. There was some sort of concert of temple music going on. There was a stage set up in the larger courtyard and a fair number of people around.

This was the first group to take the stage.

This was the second group. They are from Taiwan on a culture exchange visit.

We understood from a young woman there that this was traditional temple music.

I think this instrument is called an erhu. Erhu literally means two stings.
Mongolian instrument morin khuur or ma tou qin

We arrived before the concert and this group was warming up/practicing. These are Mongolian instruments and are called morin khuur or ma tou qin. The name means horse head as seen by the top of the instrument. There is a lot of info in Wikipedia --> morin khuur

One of the other musicians was interested enough to take a picture of the group. They sounded pretty good. Here is a video excerpt.

I can't explain the logic here. Someone ordered a new sign/map to show the handicap accessible facilities - probably before the Olympics. Rather than replace the old one they just added the new one.

This is in a new park near Jianguomen subway station. The tables are made of steel and the surface is that terrazzo stuff you see on the floor of schools and public buildings.

The guy in the middle looks pretty intense. Click to enlarge.

This is how one of the tables looked earlier in the afternoon. Looks like someone had to improvise after they forgot their net.

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