Hall of the Three Pure Ones (Sanqing Dian)

The Daoist Temple of Secrets in the city centre dates backto the second half of the 3rd c. The original buildings are no longer preserved; the complex was newly erected in the 12th c.

The main building is the Hall ofthe Three Pure Ones which was built in 1179 according to the plans of Zhao Boxiao. It is 45m/49yd long and 25m/27yd wide. The 1.75m/6ft high main altar is crowned with gilded earthenware statues of the three most important Daoist godheads, the jade emperor, the god of supreme cleanliness, and the god of superior cleanliness. The sculptures, which were finished in the 12th c. are of particular artistic value.

The North Temple The North Temple Pagoda, situated some 500m/547yd to the west of the Pagoda Garden of the Humble Administrator, was erected in the 12th c. over the

(Beisi Ta) foundations of a 6th c. pagoda The octagonal brick and wooden building has galleries around it. There are good views from the upper floor. Tiger Hill The Tiger Hill on the north-western edge of Suzhou, only 36m/118ft high (Huqiu Hill) covers an area of about 13ha/32 acres. 2500 years ago King He Lu (the ruler of the Wu state) was reportedly buried herewith 3000 swords. A tiger is said to have guarded the grave, which accounts for the name of the hill.

In the garden of the Humble Administrator

At the foot of the hill stands the Er Shanmen gate from the Tang period (618-907), its supporting beams are not made from one single piece, which is why the hall is also known as the Hall of Broken Beams (Duanlinag Dian).

It is said that in the 3rd c. attempts were made to unearth the swords of King He Lu without success. Digging caused a waterhole to be formed which was given the name Sword Lake (Jianchi).

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