The Xuanmiao Temple was first built in AD 276 in Suzhou. During the early years of the Qing Dynasty, to avoid confusing it with the name of the reigning emperor, it became known as the Yuanmiao Temple. Xuanmiao Temple has dozens of prayer halls and chambers. At the time, it was one of the largest Daoist temples in China. The Sanqing Hall, built in 1179, is one of the largest extant wooden structures south of the Yangtze River. The statues inside the temple are Song Dynasty masterpieces. There are many inscribed stone plaques within Xuanmiao Temple. The statue of Lao Tzu by a Song Dynasty master stone carver is one of the two remaining statues in China to be confirmed to be Lao Tzu's likeness from life. It has attracted many worshippers and tourists from all over the world.
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