Yue Fei Temple

The Yue Fei Temple or commonly known in Chinese as Yuewang Temple (Chinese: 岳王廟) is a temple built in honour of Yue Fei, a general of the Southern Song dynasty who fought against the Jurchen Jin Dynasty during the Jin–Song wars, after the capital of China moved south to Hangzhou. The temple ground is located near the West Lake, in central Hangzhou.

The temple was first constructed during the Song Dynasty in 1221 to commemorate Yue Fei. The site includes Yue Fei’s Temple, Loyalty Temple and Yue Fei’s Mausoleum inside. The temple was reconstructed several times in later date. The tombs and the tomb sculptures in the temple all date from the 12th century, and have been meticulously restored.

Yue Fei was falsely accused and executed at the behest of the Prime Minister, Qin Hui, in 1141. Twenty years later the emperor recognized the general’s loyalty and had this tomb and temple complex built to honor him.

At one time the temple was an active center of worship, under the direction of the state cult, with semiannual sacrifices. Today it is a memorial to the spirit of loyalty and patriotism, which General Yue displayed, but has no religious significance.

The buildings are all in excellent condition and constitute a museum of sorts. They have obviously undergone major renovation in recent years. The tombs and the tomb sculptures date from the 12th century, and have been meticulously restored.

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