The Temple of the Dragon and the Most Famous Pagoda in Shanghai

The Temple of the Dragon and the Most Famous Pagoda in Shanghai
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Even if it is the largest and most-visited temple in Shanghai, the Temple of Longhua is a place where you can take a break from the incessant pace of the city. The date of its construction is unknown, but it is thought that some of the buildings and its famed red-brick pagoda, just outside the walls of the temple, date back to the period of the Three Kingdoms (242 A.C.) with a reconstruction occurring at the dawn of the Song Dynasty (977 A.C.). At the time of its construction, the pagoda must have truly amazed, given that, up to modern times, it was the tallest building in the entire city. Because of its fragility, it is not open to the public, but it is suggested that all visitors walk around the building three times - one of the good luck rituals connected to the temple, along with the prayers to be said with incense (which is provided with the ticket). The skyline of Longhua is one of the most emblematic and original in Shanghai and, recently, it was chosen to symbolise the city. In the film version of The Empire of the Sun (directed by Steven Spielberg with Christian Bale as a young boy, released in 1987) the building is clearly recognisable in the background in various scenes. During the year, the complex is enlivened by festivals and annual celebrations - for example, the third day of the third month of the lunar calendar marks the Temple Fair, offering exhibitions of theatre and martial arts, a marketplace for delightful baubles, as well as the chance to sample the delicious vegetarian food of the Longhua Restaurant.

Chiara Vedovetto - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Shanghai
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