Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower  晉祠梳妝樓



  • Dressing Tower (English)
  • 梳妝樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 梳妆楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Shūzhuānglóu (Pinyin)
  • Shu-chuang-lou (Wade-Giles)
  • 梳洗樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 梳洗楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Water Mother Tower (English)
  • 水母樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 水母楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Jinci Shuzhuanglou (English)
  • 晉祠梳妝樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 晋祠梳妆楼 (Simplified Chinese)


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 37.708347° Long. 112.434225°
  • Building Information

    First built in the 42nd year of the Ming Jiajing reign period (1563), repaired in the 24th year of the Qing Daoguang reign period (1844). The building is two stories with three arcuated chambers or caverns (洞) in the first story and a three-bay second story. The central cavern in contains a gilt bronze image of the water goddess as a village girl. Stairways are located in the second two caverns. The upper story is an open worship hall with narrative wall paintings on the north and south walls and the water goddess in more regal garb consistent with representations of high ranking goddesses elsewhere. She is housed within a wooden statuary niche located along the west wall.

    This building was originally a Dressing Tower for the Sage Mother whose title was, officially, the Spirit of the Jin Springs (Jinyuan zhi shen 晉源之神). The building was still understood as a Dressing Tower as late as 1826 (Taiyuan xianzhi (1826)). In 1874 the Provincial Governor Bao memorialized the throne to add a title to the “Water Mother 水母” in the hall to the right of the Sage Mother Hall, which would be the tower. At that time two plaques were bestowed by the emperor, one with the characters “惠普桐封” to be placed on the Sage Mother Hall, and the other with the characters “功資樂利” the hall to its right. It is thus possible that the building came to be called the Water Mother Tower by the mid-ninteenth century. In 1878 Provincial Governor Zeng requested that the Water Mother be given her own title, consequently two characters were added making her “Water Mother who Expounds and Transforms 敷化水母.”1

    Date 1563
    Dynasty Ming 1368 - 1644 2

    Works Cited

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

    • 1 MILLER. 2007. The Divine Nature of Power: Chinese Ritual Architecture at the Sacred Site of Jinci, 187-188.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified October 16, 2020, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048b.


    Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published October 16, 2020. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048b.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica

    Additional Credit:

    • Editing and proof correction Tracy Miller
    • Data entry Tracy Miller

    Copyright and License for Reuse

    Except otherwise noted, this page is © 2020.

    Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.