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Situated in Ruicheng County of Shanxi Province, the Five Dragon Temple (Guang Ren Wang Temple) was built in 831 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty. Ranked chronologically, it is the second oldest among the remaining four architectures of the Tang Dynasty, as well as being the oldest surviving Taoist temple. The Five Dragons Temple experienced several times of renovation during its lifetime, but its structure from the Tang Dynasty remained largely unchanged. However, contrasting to the Five Dragons Temple’s exalted historic position was its previous surrounding environment. The Five Dragons Temple is seldom known and has few visitors. Located on a high slope, the temple as a cultural relic was segregated away from the villagers. Due to arid weather in recent years, the past splendor of the Dragon Spring lying at the bottom of the slope was gone now. Additionally, the advancement in agricultural irrigation technology caused the vanishing of the rain praying culture at dragon temples, thus resulting in the decline of the temple as the neighborhood center. In the end, the Dragon Spring, which was the spiritual core of the villagers, gradually deteriorated into a rubbish dump of the village. View more View full description
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