Fayuan si 法源寺

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Fǎyuán sì 法源寺
  • Location: Běijīng 北京, Xuānwǔ District 宣武區, on the east side of Niú Street 牛街
  • Other names: * Mǐnzhōng sì 憫忠寺
  • Shùntiān sì 順天寺
  • Chóngfú sì 崇福寺 (1437)
Fayuan Temple
  • First Founded 645 (Zhēnguān 貞觀 19), completed in 696 (Tōngtiān 通天 1)
  • Lineage: {{{lineage}}}
  • Status: Public (十方叢林)
  • Institution section editor: Erik Hammerstrom

Fǎyuán Temple 法源寺 is one of the oldest temple sites in Běijīng 北京.



This temple was established by Tàizōng 太宗 (r. 650-684), second emperor of the Táng 唐 Dynasty, to commemorate the soldiers who died during his failed invasion of Koryǒ 高麗 (present-day Korea). The original name of the temple was Mǐnzhōng sì 憫忠寺. The temple burned down in 882 (Zhōnghé 中和 2), and was not rebuilt until the Five Dynasties 五代 period (907-960), at which point it became a nunnery. In 1173 (Dàdìng 大定 13), Emperor Shìzōng 世宗 of Jīn 金 had chose this location for examinations fo candidates for the Daoist nuns' orders (女真人).

The temple was renovated in 1437 (Zhèngtǒng 正統 2), and its name was changed to Chóngfú sì 崇福寺. It received its present name after it was renovated in 1734 (Yǒngzhèng 雍正 12). Ordinations were held here in 1921. Notable ordinands included Fǎfǎng 法舫 and Fǎzūn 法尊.

After 1956, this temple became the headquarters of the newly-established Buddhist Academy of China 中國佛學院, which remains the central Buddhist seminary 佛學院 in China. In May 1980, the East and West halls were converted into the Chinese Buddhist Library and Archives 中國佛教圖書文物館, which houses materials related to Buddhism that are written in many different languages.


Important Abbots

Notable Residents

Temple Institution

Important Buildings or Artifacts

  • Deva-ra1ja Hall 天王殿, which houses a bronze Maitreya Statue from the Míng 明 dynasty
  • Mǐnzhōng tái 憫忠台
    • Built on the foundation of the original Mǐnzhōng Pavilion 憫忠閣 (built between 881 and 884)
    • Houses the temple's epigraphic records, some of which date to the Táng
  • Vairocana Hall 毗慮殿
    • This hall housed the skull of Xuánzàng 玄奘 off and on through history. The skull was stolen after 1949.

Associated Organizations and Groups



  • Luó Zhéwén 羅哲文, et. al. Zhōngguó zhùmíng fójiào sìmiào 中國著名佛教寺廟 (Famous Buddhist Temples of China). Beijing: Zhongguo chengshi, 1995. Pp. 52-55.
  • Sū Zhèshēng 蘇浙生. Shénzhōu fójìng 神州佛鏡 (Buddhist Regions of Shénzhōu). Shanghai: Shanghai guji, 2003. Pp. 127-129.
  • 法源寺志稿 (民國稿本 1912~1949), from Dharma Drum's Temple Gazetteer Project.
  • Entry for 法源寺 from Chinese Wikipedia.
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