The Black Dragon Cave


The Black Dragon Cave

by Live in Guizhou

Image Source: CGTN, Tencent News

The Black Dragon Cave is an ancient temple complex on Zhonghe Mountain east of Zhenyuan Ancient Town in Guizhou Province. Covering an area of 21,000 square meters, it is the centerpiece of all the ancient monuments in Zhenyuan Town.

The Black Dragon Cave includes single and multi-storied pavilions, temples, shrines, palaces, etc. Surviving a couple of wars, the Black Dragon Cave was built during the Ming Dynasty and its current shape results from several renovations. With many separate buildings, the Black Dragon Cave encompasses Zhusheng Bridge, Zhongyuan Temple, Ziyang Shuyuan, Wanshou Palace. Among the ancient complexes of Zhenyuan, the Black Dragon Cave though very close to the town, has retained its natural flavor.

All buildings there were constructed following the natural features of Zhonghe Mountain, which is precipitous. The architectural sculptures and adornments there are simple, unsophisticated, yet quietly elegant and are quite unlike those of other temples, which are ornately decorated.

How these Confucianist, Taoist and Buddhist temples are arranged together embodies the combination of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. One renowned architect once remarked that the Black Dragon Cave won the upper hand over the famous Hanging Monastery in Shanxi Province regarding architectural art.