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岭南历史最悠久的道观--三元宫
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 岭南历史最悠久的道观——三元宫
 
 广州越秀山南麓,有一座遐迩闻名的道观——三元宫,它是道教在广州已有1600多年历史的见证。
 三元宫,是岭南现存历史最悠久、规模较大的道观。它始建于东晋年间,最初命名为越冈院,明代万历年间重修时才命名为三元宫。
 三元宫,位于今越秀山南麓应元路11号,坐北向南,依山而建,占地约5100平方米。东晋年间,南海郡太守道教徒鲍靓为其女鲍姑在此修道行医而建越冈院。鲍姑行医济世,采集草药红脚艾,配以院中井水,制药以灸赘瘤,救人无数。鲍姑仙逝后,人们感其医德善功,集资塑像,祀奉院内,称鲍姑祠。鲍姑行医配药用过的井,后人珍存,名为虬龙古井。
 三元宫在明万历年间曾经重修,崇祯年间扩为大殿,改供奉三元大帝,改鲍姑祠为配殿,并改名三元宫。此后数百年,三元宫一直是广州四乡信众游览朝拜的地方。
 三元宫的山门有石刻楷书对联:“三元古观,百粤名山”。与山门相连的是灵官殿。宫的中央是三元大殿,清同治年间重建,高宽各四丈,内供天官、地官、水官神像,又称尧、舜、禹三帝。大殿的东西两侧分别为吕祖殿和鲍姑殿;后面为老君殿,供奉太上老君。殿前拜廊两端为钟、鼓楼。大殿前有宽阔的石阶和天井,天井周围是客堂、斋堂、祖堂、钵堂。清康熙后百余年,三元宫经多次维修。现存各殿堂建筑总面积约2000平方米,均为清代以后重修。宫内各殿,建于康熙年间,反映了清代道教宫观的建筑风貌。
 民国以后,三元宫受政局影响时起时落。龙济光治粤时期,曾把越秀山列为军事禁区,到三元宫参拜的市民大为减少;陈济棠主政广东期间,提倡佛道,三元宫又转兴旺;抗日战争期间广州沦陷,三元宫道侣四散;建国后,三元宫又复兴盛。
1981年3月,三元宫重新对外开放。1989年,三元宫被公布为市级文物保护单位。现在三元宫是香火鼎盛的道教宫观,特别是在每年农历正月十五的上元节、七月十五的中元节,以及十月十五的下元节,更是人头涌涌,热闹非凡。


The Oldest Taoist Temple in the Lingnan Region – Sanyuan Temple

At the southern foot of Yuexiu Hill in Guangzhou stands the famed Sanyuan Temple, a Taoist temple bearing witness to the 1,600-year history of Taoism in Guangzhou.

Sanyuan Temple, the oldest and largest Taoist temple in the Lingnan region, was first built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Originally called “Yuegang Temple”, the temple derived its current name during the reign of Emperor Wang Li in the Ming Dynasty when it was renovated.

Located at 11 Yingyuan Road at the southern foot of Yuexiu Hill, Sanyuan Temple is set in a north-south orientation covering approximately 5,100 square meters. It was built by Bao Liang, governor of Nanhai Prefecture and a Taoist, for his daughter Bao Gu in which to practice Taoism and medicine. Bao Gu, who was dedicated to the health of the needy, collected ghostplant wormwood herbs and infused them with water from the well in the temple courtyard. The resulting remedy proved miraculously effective in curing tumor sufferers. After she passed away, local people pooled money to create a statue of her and placed it inside the temple for worship and the temple was renamed after her. The well, which helped Bao Gu prepared her remedy, has also been preserved intact and is known as the “Ancient Dragon Well” among locals.

Sanyuan Temple was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Wan Li in the Ming Dynasty and was expanded during the reign of Emperor Chongzhen of the same dynasty, to worship the Great Emperor Sanyuan. As a result, the original name of the temple, “Yuegang Temple”, was changed to “Sanyuan Temple”. For centuries Sanyuan Temple has been a place of devotion, worship and meditation for Taoist practitioners in and around Guangzhou.

The gate of Sanyuan Temple is carved with a couplet which reads “Ancient Temple, Famed Hill”. The gate leads to Lingguan Palace. Sitting at the center of the temple is Sanyuan Main Hall, which was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi of the Qing Dynasty.  About 13.3 meters high and wide, the hall was intended for the worship of the God of Heaven, the God of Earth, and the God of Water, all of whom are also called Emperors; Yao, Shun, and Yu. The eastern and western sides of the main hall are Lu Zu Hall and Bao Gu hall respectively, and the rear part of the main hall is the Old Saint Hall where Lord Lao Zi is worshipped. A bell tower stands at one end of the corridor in front of the hall, and a drum tower sits at the other end. In front of the main hall are wide stone steps and a courtyard which is flanked by a visitors’ hall, a dinning hall, an ancestral hall, and an alms hall. Over the century after the reign of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty, the temple was repeatedly renovated. The extant halls, most of which were rebuilt after the Qing Dynasty, have a combined total floor area of about 2,000 square meters. The bulk of the temple was first built during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi in the Qing Dynasty and featured an architectural style typical of Taoist temples in that period.

Following the Republic of China period, the influence of Sanyuan Temple experienced ebbs and flows. During his rule of Guangdong, Long Jiguang restricted public access to Yuexiu Hill for military considerations and, as a result, the stream of visitors to the temple rapidly diminished. However, the temple began to thrive during the rule of Guangdong by Che Jitang, who advocated Buddhism and Taoism. During World War II Guangzhou fell to Japanese invaders, and the temple was deserted, interest in it rising again after the People’s Republic of China was founded.

In March 1981, Sanyuan Temple was reopened to the public. In 1989, it was listed as a city-level protected cultural heritage site. Today, it receives a steady stream of worshippers, and is thronged during the Shangyuan Festival on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month of the Chinese calendar, the Zhongyuan Festival on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, and the Xiayuan Festival on the 15th day of the 10th lunar month.

  
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