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Zhengding

Zhengding City

Lying at the eastern piedmont of Taihang Mountain, the ancient city of Zhengding ( Zhèngdìng 正定 ) is 15 kilometers to the north of Shijiazhuang City, 258 kilometers to the south of Beijing, 350 kilometers to the Tianjin New Port, and 275 kilometers to the Huanghua Port. With a relatively flat terrain, the county is higher in the northwest and lower in the southeast, and inclines from northwest to southwest. The altitude is between 105.2 and 57.6 meters. The whole county features relatively singular physiognomy, and the territory is divided into three parts by the Hutuo River and the Laoci River.

HistoryThe Longxing Monastery 1
Archeological finds indicate that the area of Zhengding County has been settled since the early Neolithic Period. During the Spring and Autumn Period, the capital of the Xianyu Kingdom was located in the area, since the year 256 (Western Jin Dynasty), the Changshan Prefecture was established in the County. In 923, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, the prefecture was renamed Zhengding Prefecture, which was later rearranged into the Zhengding Prefecture and Zhongshan County. Zhengding County was created during the Qing Dynasty, in 1723. In 1949, the county was subordinated to Shijiazhuang Prefecture and in 1986, it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Shijiazhuang.
Xi Jinping, Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member and one of the top candidates to succeed Hu Jintao as party leader and state president, was secretary of the county CCP committee in 1983-1985. Map

Senic spotsThe Longxing Monastery 2
The Longxing Monastery or Longxing Temple ( Lóngxīng Sì 隆兴寺) is a magnificent and well-preserved ancient building complex. First built in 586, the monastery has a history of more than 1,300 years, and is called as one of the Four Treasures in Hebei, with the other three being the Stone Lions in Cangzhou, the Tower in Dingzhou, the Great Stone Bridge in Zhaozhou.
Following a common pattern, the monastery complex features a central axis along which a sequence of buildings and focal points is arranged. The first building is the Hall of the Heavenly Kings. At the opposite end of the axis is the Main Hall ( Dàbēi Gé 大悲阁), a 33-meter-high wooden structure, which houses a bronze statue of Guan Yin. This bronze was built during the early years of the Song Dynasty; its height exceeds 20 meters. Inside the hall, a staircase leads around the statue which allows it to be seen from top to bottom.

The Longxing Monastery 3The Longxing Monastery 4The Longxing Monastery 5

Ticket: CNY40
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00
Tel: 0311-88789987

Linji Temple1Linji Temple is an ancient temple built in 540 during the Eastern Wei Dynasty. In the Tang Dynasty a master monk by the name of Xuanyi founded the Linji Sect, which eventually became one of the five major sects of Buddhism in China. The sect developed rapidly after the middle years of the Tang Dynasty and was in great fashion for a time because it could help people achieve "awakening" by swift means or through popular epigrams. At the end of the twelfth century (during the Song Linji Temple2Dynasty) two Japanese monks, Eisai and Shuniyo, went to China, later introducing the Linji Sect to Japan. During the Kamakura period (1192-1333) twenty of the twenty-four schools of the Chan (Zen) Sect in Japan belonged to the Linji Sect headed by Yany Qi. Even today, many Buddhists in Japan regard Linji Temple in Zhengding as the birthplace of their sect. Chengling Pagoda was built in 867 by Xuanyi's disciples after his death as a tomb for his mantle and alms bowl. Since the original building was in complete ruins, a new pagoda was constructed between 1161 and 1189 during the Kin Dynasty. That is the pagoda people see today.
Ticket: CNY10
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00
Tel: 0311-88022104

The Lingxiao Pagoda1The Lingxiao Pagoda (Língxiāo tǎ 凌霄塔) is a Chinese pagoda west of the Xinglong Temple in Zhengding . The brick base and structure of the 42 m (137 ft) tall pagoda ends after the 4th floor, as the rest of its height from the 5th floor up is purely wooden construction. It features a total of nine stories with nine wooden tiers of eaves encircling the octagonal frame of the pagoda.The Lingxiao Pagoda2
In the center of the pagoda stands a large column, a feature of Chinese architecture in pagodas that was discontinued sometime after the Song and Yuan periods. Built a decade later in 1055, the Liaodi Pagoda (China's tallest pre-modern pagoda) also features an inner column, in the shape of another pagoda. Within the interior of the Lingxiao Pagoda, a wooden staircase leads up to the 4th floor. The pagoda is also crowned with a cast iron spire.
Ticket: CNY5
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00
Tel:0311-8786670

The Xumi PagodaThe Xumi Pagoda (Xūmí tǎ 须弥塔) or Sumeru Pagoda, also known as Summer Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda of the Buddhist Kaiyuan Monastery west of Zhengding, Hebei province, China. This square-base stone and brick pagoda was built in the year 636 AD during the reign of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It stands at a height of 48 m (157 ft) and has been well preserved since its initial construction.The monastery that once surrounded the pagoda, however, has largely been destroyed, with the exception of a few structures.
The pagoda has nine tiers of eaves and a crowning spire, along with artwork of stone carvings at the corners of the stone platform that makes up its base. The interior of the pagoda is hollow and lacks a staircase to reach the higher floors. Its style of eaves in gradual tiers resembles that of other Tang pagodas, such as the Small Wild Goose and Giant Wild Goose pagodas. Near the arched doorway leading into the pagoda is a colossal stone body of a bixi, a Chinese mythical beast in the shape of a tortoise-like dragon.The left side of the statue had been broken off and missing, until it was found in the year 2000, during an excavation at a nearby street.
Ticket: CNY10
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00

The Hua PagodaThe Hua Pagoda (Hua Ta, lit.: Flower Pagoda, part of Guanghui Temple (Guǎnghuì Sì 广惠寺), in the south of Zhengding) is a four-storey brick building with an unconventional shape and a total height of approximately 40 meters. While the lower three storeys have an octagonal floor plan, the fourth storey has a circular layout over which the walls taper towards the tip giving the storey a conical shape. On the outside, this storey is richly decorated with carvings of Buddhas, elephants, and aquatic animals. Another unusual feature of the Hua Pagoda or 4 small attached buildings, which are pagodas themselves and crowned with an egg-shaped tip. These were once lost but have recently been completely restored. The Hua Pagoda was first erected during the Tang Dynasty. The present-day structure dates back to a rebuilt during the time of the Jin Dynasty.
Ticket: CNY10
Opening hours: 9:00-16:00
Tel: 0311-8786670

Transportation
Zhengding has convenient railway and road connections, with the Beijing-Canton Railway and Beijing-Shenzhen Expressway running through the county.
Shijiazhuang Zhengding Airport operates flights to more than 30 domestic and international destinations. Express trains reach Shijiazhuang from Beijing within 2 hours, and there are several long-distance bus stations to be found in Shijiazhuang. From here, take bus 201 to Zhengding which is only 15kms away.
 

Tips

  1. In order to visit the sights in Zhengding, there is a through ticket you have to buy which includes all the sights except the Linji Temple. The ticket costs RMB60 and includes a little map of the sights on the back, although everything is in Chinese.
  2. Zhengding County is in the warm temperate continental climate, with an annual temperature of 13.1 °C, annual precipitation of 525.3 mm and an average frost-free period of 198 days. It has clearly demarcated four seasons, and relatively long period of sunshine, and is frequented by droughts and floods. The best time to go is during the fall when temperatures are more moderate.
  3. A couple of days are the least to explore the main sights. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 October 2010 11:13
 

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