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Taiqing Palace

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The Taiqing Palace in the Mt Laoshan, Qingdao city, Shandong province, is considered the origin of Laoshan Taoism. It was built 2,000 years ago and has been reconstructed over the years in almost every dynasty. Today it is largely a Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279) structure, which is unusual in terms of Chinese construction of religious sites.

The Laoshan Taiqing Palace stands on Laoshan Mountain, Qingdao City of Shandong Province. It has been listed as one of the key national Taoist temples by the State Council. Laoshan Mountain is a famous scenic spot of China, and covers an area of 300 square kilometres. Many famous Taoists preached here, as it has been a Holy Land of Taoism since ancient times. Many places in the area host Taoist activities and the Taiqing Palace is the most famous one them.

Among various Taoist buildings on the mountain, the Taiqing Palace has the longest history. It is the largest and arguably the most influential one. The Laoshan Taiqing Palace was first built in 140, and had considerably grown by 905 with the efforts of several famous Taoists. After that, more buildings were added to it. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the temple became a Taoist temple of Quanzhen Sect, and received great support from the imperial court, thus elevating its status greatly.

Famous Taoist Zhang Sanfeng once visited the site during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Laoshan Mountain also influenced the great ancient novel Liao Zhai Zhi Yi(the Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio). Many stories of the book came from Laoshan Mountain, and it is said that the writer Pu Songling once lived here.

The main buildings of the Taiqing Palace include the Sanguan Hall, the Sanqing Hall and the Sanhuang Hall. In addition, there is also a very famous mountain spring, the Shenshui Spring (Spring of Supernatural Water), in the Taiqing Palace. The Taoists of the sect pay great attention to the preservation of their health, and have developed a skill of focusing vital energy.