china edition


Luoyang - Guanlin Temple

Henan - Kaifeng - Luoyang - Zhengzhou

8 kilometer south of Luoyang, Guanlin Temple, also called General Guan's Tomb, is a place where the head of Guan Yu was buried. Guan Yu was a famous general of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period. It was said that after Sun Quan, the king of Wu Kingdom, killed Guanyu, he put Guan's head in a box and sent it to Luoyang in an attempt to blame the murder on Cao Cao, the king of Wei Kingdom. Cao Cao saw through Sun's trap and was not fooled. He held a ceremonious burial for Guan and buried the head with a carved wooden body to the south of the city.

Guanlin TempleGuan Yu became a legendary hero in Chinese folktales because of his bravery and faithfulness. He was also respected as "Wu Sheng" by Chinese emperors. Temples were built for him throughout the country and he was honored as a god. Portraits or pictures of Guan Yu can be found on the doors of Chinese houses during the Lunar New Year because people believe he protects the home.

The construction work of this temple complex began in 1595, during the reign of Ming Emperor Wanli. The complex contains several halls, an octagonal pavilion and Guanyu's tomb. Inside the halls are pictures and statues mainly devoted to the Story of the Three Kingdoms.

The story is one of China's 4 classic fictions and it depicts the tripartite confrontation of Wei, Shu and Wu kingdoms during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). More than 70 stone-tablets with calligraphic inscriptions are also found here. A 5 meter high stone stele with inscriptions written by emperors from different dynasties is found in the octagonal pavilion.

The mausoleums of emperors were called Ling, the tombs of marquis or kings were named Zhong and those of holy men such as Confucius or Guan Yu were called Lin, hence the name Guanlin.