Guanlin Temple is the place where Guanyu, the famous general of Shu Kingdom during the Three Kingdom Period, was buried. The central temple named Zhibo was first constructed during the period of Emperor Wanli in Ming Dynasty, and was further expanded to the present scale during the period of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty.
This historic site has a coverage of more than 100 mu and there are more than 150 small houses and long corridors in it. There exists more than 70 pieces of steles from the ancient time and 4 memorial archways. More than 110 different sizes of stone lions and iron lions stand there. In addition, there are about 800 old cypress trees, roughly 10 historical statues and a tomb in the temple. What a wonderful historical spot!
Guanlin Temple is one of the well preserved ancient buildings. On the central axis of the temple, from the south direction to the north direction orderly stand the dancing hall, the main gate, the first gate, stone-paved path leading to the main hall, the platform, the hall for sacrificial ceremony, the main temple, the second temple, the third temple, stone pai-lou, stone booth, the gravestone. On the east-west direction side, there symmetrically erect the belfry, the drum tower, China Table, the censer, side hall, the covered corridor and so on. Between the main gate and the first gate, there is stone-paved path, on which stand the well-carved stone lions. The total number of these stone lions is 104 and they display with different postures vividly. Behind the third temple, a stone pai-lou was set up and the stele on it reads the scripture "the tomb of Hangshoutinghou". The covered corridor is on the east-west line, in which display the precious stone inscriptions and epitaphs of many dynasties.
The surface of Guanyu’s tomb is an octagon, its height reaches 10 meters and the tomb covers 250 square meters, and was walled. The stele before his tomb is 4.8 meters long. A stone tortoise is under the stele while the carved stone dragon stands above it. "The inscription of Chifeng ", which is on the stele and is written in seal character, was conferred the title of nobility by Emperor Kangxi. The pavilion protecting the stele is an octagon, too. Its complicated structure and unique features display an outsanding example of the architectural art of pavilion in Qing Dynasty. Before the stele and pavilion stands the stone arch table whose height reaches 10 meters, and width 6 meters. It is inscribed with "The tomb of the general Hangshouting."
At present, the Guanlin Temple is considered to be the museum of the ancient arts in the city of Luoyang. Inside the temple, the length of the covered corridor on both sides exceeds 90 meters. There is orderly one room for displaying the inscriptions and inscription on the memorial tablets, one room for showing the artworks of stone inscriptions. The total number of these craftworks, including inscriptions, inscription on the memorial tablets and stone inscriptions amounts 2000, and they show us a full picture of the art of stone inscription. Especially, the stone houses of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the stone coffin of the northern Wei Dynasty, the stone lions of the Sui Dynasty, are treated as the rarest and most precious treasures in the world. The work of the inscription on the table and epitaphs amounts 1000; most of their contents are closely related with the important historical events and the crucial historical characters. In a word, it is highly valuable and worth people’s attention and further researching. It is indeed a great history of stone inscription.
Guanyu is the only person in Chinese history who enjoys great respect by Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism alike. He also named Guan Yunchang (160 - 219 A.D.), and was a senior general of Shu Kingdom (Sichuan Province today) in the Three Kingdom Period. Legend has it that after Sun Quan killed Guanyu and submitted his head to Cao Cao, Cao Cao buried it right in Guanlin. During his lifetime, Guanyu was famous for his loyalty and courage. From ancient to present, people has regarded him as a lengedery hero and thus worshipped him just like a god. For thousands of years, Guanlin has been attracting large amount of tourists both from China and abroad.