|Name:The Temple of Bi Gan|
Tel:7.5 kilometers away from National Highway No.107, Weihui City
Bi Gan, the minister of King Zhou, was regarded as “the most faithful minister in history” because of his loyalty to the Shang Dynasty, even at the cost of his own life. After King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty( B.C.1134--B.C.771 ） ascended the throne, he repaired Bi Gan’s mausoleum. The Emperor, Xiaowen of the Southern Wei Dynasty (
-534A.D.), built the
Bi Gan in honor of his faithfulness. The existing architectural complex was reconstructed in 1494 during the Ming Dynasty. It is called “the first temple under heaven” because the
Bi Gan is a combination of graves and temples. Being spacious and magnificent, the complex, with a building area of 47,000 square meters, is composed of such main buildings as the holy path, the curtain wall, the main gate, the secondary gate, the corridor lined up with steles, the wooden memorial arch, the subordinate hall and the grand hall, to name just a few. In the temple, a number of invaluable historical relics are preserved, among which are ancient calligraphies, the engravings of which are of great historical value.
Bi Gan is a resort that includes the grave, the temple and the valuable historical relics. The Grave of Bi Gan is regarded as “the first tomb under the heaven” because it is the first grave in the form of tomb on record, with a long history, proper layout, and rich in culture. In the Temple of Bi Gan stand 64 steles ranging from the stele carved by Confucius during the Spring and Autumn Period to the stele erected by Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty, almost covering all the dynasties in Chinese history. The stele with the inscription “The Grave of Bi Gan of the Shang Dynasty” is the only existing handwriting of Confucius, carved by Confucius himself with a sword. Thus the stele is really worth the name “the first stele under heaven”. Another stele, the inscription being written by Emperor Xiaowen in the Southern Wei Dynasty, was carved by a celebrated calligrapher Cui Hao in the Southern and Northern Period and is among the most excellent calligraphic works. Other valuable steles, such as the stele from an emperor of the Tang Dynasty, and the stele erected by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty are well preserved here.
The Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty once praised Bi Gan as a faithful and upright man. King Wu of the Western Zhou Dynasty granted him the surname of Lin, and since then he became the ancestor of those surnamed Lin. Memorial activities have been held in honor of Bi Gan’s 3085 and 3090 anniversary since 1993. Hundreds of thousands of descendants with the surname Lin from over 60 groups in 26 countries and other tourists from home and abroad come here either to seek their roots or take in some sightseeing. The
Bi Gan has become a holy place for the descendants of Bi Gan.
Address: 7.5 kilometers away from National Highway No.107,