The Temple of the God of Taishan Mountain stands on Shenlu Street in the Chaoyang District. It is said that the temple was built as a place of worship for the Supreme Celestial Emperor of Taishan Mountain, one of the five sacred mountains of China.
The temple was first built in the Yanyou period (1314-1320) of the Yuan Dynasty at which time it was one of the largest Daoist temples in the capital, and the first major temple in northern China belonging to the Zhengyi Sect of Daoism founded by Master Zhang Daoling. A glazed memorial archway inscribed with “In Reverence to the God of Mount Tai” stands at eh temple’s front entrance.
The temple complex is composed of three courtyards. The main courtyard contains three halberd gates (jimen), the Hall of the Taishan Mountain (Daizongbaodian), and the Hall of Moral Cultivation (Yudedian).
In the center of the Hall of the Taishan Mountain are statues of the God of Taishan Mountain and his high-ranking attendants. The two corridors in front of the hall house 72 statues of deities, or “Chiefs of Departments,” each representing some form of human activity or natural force.
There are more than 100 stone tablets dating from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties in the temple compound. The most valuable is a four-meter-high stela inscribed, “Tablet of the Daoist Master Zhang” in the handwriting of the Yuan Dynasty calligrapher Zhao Mengfu.
The temple was burned down in a battle during the last years of the Yuan Dynasty and was rebuilt in 1449 during the Ming Dynasty. The buildings standing today date from the Qing Dynasty, though they retain the style of the Yuan and Ming periods.