Jin Shrines, Haotianshen Shrine  晉祠昊天神祠



  • Haotianshen Shrine (English)
  • 昊天神祠 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 昊天神祠 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Hàotiānshéncí (Pinyin)
  • Hao-t'ien-shen-tz'u (Wade-Giles)
  • Jinci Haotianshenci (English)
  • 晉祠昊天神祠 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 晋祠昊天神祠 (Simplified Chinese)


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 37.708662° Long. 112.435685°
  • Building Information

    This temple-complex is dedicated to the Jade Emperor (玉皇), the Three Pure Ones or Clarities (三清), and Guandi (關帝). The whole is called the Haotianshen Shrine, after the title given to the Jade Emperor during the Northern Song dynasty. In the Liu Dapeng's Jincizhi the date given for the investiture is January 31, 1017. That date remains unconfirmed. The Song shi 宋史 records the Jade Emperor being awarded the title "Vast Heaven" (Haotian 昊天) by Emperor Huizong in 1116 (Song shi 21.396 and 104.2543; Pregadio, ed. 2008, 63). This combined shrine was constructed after the 1770–71 rebuilding of the Shu Yu of Tang Shrine Complex 唐叔虞祠. According to the stele inscription documenting the construction of the combined complex by Hu Qijing of 1801, originally individual temple buildings dedicated to the Jade Emperor and the Three Pure Ones were on the right (west side) of the shrine to Shu Yu, and a temple of Guandi was located to the left (east) of the Shu Yu Shrine. These buildings appear on the 1551 map of Jinci in Gao Ruxing’s Taiyuan xianzhi (the first two are numbered 42 (Jade Emperor’s Temple 玉皇廟) and 43 (Temple to the Three Pure Ones 三清廟) on the plan of Jinci from 1606 in Miller 2007, 163, which is largely based on Gao Ruxing’s drawing). The 1801 inscription states that after the Shu Yu Shrine was rebuilt in the 1770s, the contrast between the new shrine and the old buildings inspired people to rebuild the surrounding temples as well. Twenty-two years later, the new complex was built on top of the old foundation of the Guandi Temple. The complex has an entry gate with two courtyards, each with a worship hall at its rear to the north, and side halls to the east and west. Guandi is worshiped in a three-bay-wide central hall located on the north end of the first courtyard. In this inscription, the back hall is said to have been built like the Wenchang palace next to it, with an arcuated lower story (described as cave-like 洞) and a timber upper story (called a ge 閣). The Three Pure Ones are worshiped in the lower story, the Cavern of the Three Pure Ones (Sanqingdong 三清洞), with the central cavern dedicated to Yuanshi tianzun 元始天尊, the left cavern dedicated to Lingbao tianzun 靈寶天尊, and the right cavern dedicated to Yuqing tianzun (Laozi) 玉清天尊. The upper story is, by itself, the Jade Emperor’s Storied Pavilion (Yuhuangge 玉皇閣). This complex is number 9 on our plan of the site.1

    Date 1795
    Dynasty Qing 1644 - 1912 2

    Works Cited

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

    • 1 PREGADIO. 2008. The Encyclopedia of Taoism, 63.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 脫脫. 1978. 宋史Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; MILLER. 2007. The Divine Nature of Power: Chinese Ritual Architecture at the Sacred Site of JinciLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contains artifact(s) (2)

    Date range

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    Tracy Miller, “Jin Shrines, Haotianshen Shrine 晉祠昊天神祠 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified January 5, 2022, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048h.


    Tracy Miller, “Jin Shrines, Haotianshen Shrine 晉祠昊天神祠 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published October 22, 2020. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048h.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Jin Shrines, Haotianshen Shrine 晉祠昊天神祠

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
    • Tracy Miller, entry contributor, “Jin Shrines, Haotianshen Shrine 晉祠昊天神祠

    Additional Credit:

    • Editing, proof correction, images Tracy Miller
    • Data entry Waka Ogihara

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