In the Gaofeng High Summit Hill in Sichuan Province, there are 8 ridges like eight dragons looking back at the mountain peak, and over 500 aging pine trees, some as old as a thousand years, all stretching their branches towards that same apex of the mountain.

There are 4 gates located in the 4 directions respectively as entrances to a Daoist temple atop that central summit.

The temple complex was built in the period of the late Ming Dynasty more than three hundred years ago, with all the structures made of wood.

There are 4 gates located in the 4 directions respectively as entrances to the Daoist temple atop that central summit.

This is one of the gates.

The centerpiece of the temple was built according to the principles of the Eight Trigrams of I Ching, based on Heaven, Earth, Water and Fire four graphs.

The three-storey building with 5,200 sqm in total floor space contains 400 plus doors, including front doors, side doors, dead-end doors, fake doors and hidden doors.


Plautus Satire
It seems there are more stairs and catwalks than usable floor space. Was it designed according to these certain “principles” or were those principles devised to explain the peculiar nature of this structure?

It would seem to me that this structure contains some undeciphered message, the importance of which may be known but not the content. To preserve such a building for three centuries suggests something far more important than a wilderness funhouse or monument to dubious metaphysical gibberish.

All Things Chinese
The staircases and verandahs link the central and peripheral structures that both contain many rooms.

The building is designed based on four of the eight primary graphs in the Eight Trigram of I Ching, thus for anyone who knows about I Ching there is no mystery there. Of course, for those who know nothing or little about I Ching, they could be easily lost in the building.

There are also some villages and towns in China that are built according to Eight Trigram which would make visitors easy to get into the premises but hard to get out.

This is a veranda on the three-storey terrace, the centerpiece of the temple.

The terrace and the surrounding periphery structures are linked by verandas and staircases, allowing the rooms in the centre to access natural light.

However, this building was partially destroyed in a fire five days ago on 31 May 2017. 🤦🤦🤦


Lawrence Kedz
I surely hope restoration has already started?

All Things Chinese
I believe it will be rebuilt. The main meeting hall in Beijing’s Forbidden City was burned just a few years after the palace was completed in the early 15th. It was rebuilt decades later. And many other buildings in the palace were also burned and rebuilt – a big problem with timber structures even today.

Lawrence Kedz
Agreed, on both counts.

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