Baoguo Monastery  保國寺


  • Baoguo Monastery (English)
  • Bǎoguósì (Pinyin)
  • Pao-kuo-ssu (Wade-Giles)
  • 保國寺 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 保国寺 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Língshānsì (Pinyin)
  • 靈山寺 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 灵山寺 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Jīngjìnyuàn (Pinyin)
  • 精進院 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 精进院 (Simplified Chinese)


浙江省宁波市 Ningbo, Zhejiang
  • China
  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 29.983° Long. 121.516833°
  • Site Information

    Baoguo Monastery is located in Ningbo, Zhejiang, and is a historic Buddhist monastery protected by the National Cultural Heritage Administration. The complex is nestled in the Ling Mountains (Lingshan 靈山) between Xiangbi Peak (Xiangbifeng 象鼻峰) and Shiyan Peak (Shiyanfeng 獅岩峰), and the south side is exposed to a downhill slope. The monastery itself is also surrounded by water: the Ci River (Cijiang 慈江) runs at the foot of the mountain and eight streams cross through the mountain. The building complex is roughly oriented north-south, and is more precisely sitting northwest and facing southeast (Xu and Qiu 2014, 72). It is symmetrical along the central axis with the exception of a few smaller buildings attached to the west and east sides of the complex.

    Following the 1805 Baoguosi zhi 保國寺志, Guo Daiheng relates the legendary founding of the monastery as Lingshansi 靈山寺 in the Eastern Han dynasty. This complex was destroyed in the Huichang suppression of Buddhism from 842-845. When it was rebuilt in 880 it was renamed Baoguosi (Baoguo Monastery). In 1064 the complex received an official plaque bearing the name Jingjin Cloister (Jingjinyuan 精進院). Throughout the Song Dynasty, new buildings were constructed while maintaining symmetry around the existing central axis. By the Southern Song, the complex’s layout was similar to the style of the Five Mountains and Ten Monasteries “五山十剎” defined by the Imperial Court, however only the structures currently extant from the Song dynasty are the Mahavira Treasure Hall (Daxiongbaodian 大雄寶殿) and Pure Land Pool (Jingtuchi 淨土池) (Guo 2003, 2-18). Drastic reconstructions were done during the Ming-Qing (明清) period and the current layout is in keeping with many Ming-Qing Buddhist monasteries. The central axis of the complex is now preserved in a three-step progression, moving from bottom to top, there is the Celestial Kings Hall (Tianwangdian 天王殿), Mahavira Treasure Hall (Daxiongbaodian 大雄寶殿), then the Dharma Hall (fatang 法堂) and sutra repository tower (cangjinglou 藏經樓) along the central axis. The living areas outside that of the Buddhist ritual spaces did not aim for symmetry and enjoyed relative freedom in their layout.

    Founded in the Eastern Han (25-220 CE) 1

    National Cultural Heritage Administration Number 全國重點文物保護單位編號

    External links

    Works Cited

    Any information without attribution has been created following the editorial guidelines.

    • 1 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 11-12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 国家文物局. 2010. 中国文物地图集·浙江分册, 117.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 郭. 2003. 东来第一山: 保国寺, 2-76.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; XU. 2014. Baoguo Temple-A Thousand-Year-Long Legend, 72-74.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contains artifact(s) (1)

    Date range

    How to Cite This Entry

    CHEN Yue et al., “Baoguo Monastery 保國寺 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified December 16, 2021,


    CHEN Yue et al., “Baoguo Monastery 保國寺 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by . Entry published March 21, 2018.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Baoguo Monastery 保國寺

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • CHEN Yue and Tracy Miller, entry contributors, “Baoguo Monastery 保國寺

    Additional Credit:

    • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
    • adding external links Melanie Lu
    • research and data entry CHEN Yue

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