Gude Temple: often misunderstood for its appearance as a modern building, but it is a century-old temple

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The mention of temples often reminds people of the ancient buildings in the mountains, such as ancient temples, cornices, arch of wooden architecture, and red painted round doors. If a building like Disneyland Castle Park suddenly appears in front of you, you will think it may be a modern hotel or amusement park, but you will never think it may be a temple.
In Wuhan, there is such a strange building that looks like a cartoon castle far away. It is really a traditional Buddhist temple – Goodall Temple.
Goodall has a good heart and a good mind. The temple has a history of nearly 150 years since its establishment in the 1870s. Located at No. 74, Shangshangli Road, Huangpu Street, Jiang’an District, Hankou, Wuhan, formerly known as Gude Maopeng. In the early years of the Republic of China, Master Zhichanghong, who lived in the temple, reached today’s scale after two repairs and expansions.
Master Changhong changed Goude Maopeng to Goude Temple and wrote the postscript by Li Yuanhong, then president of the Republic of China. The construction of a Chinese Buddhist temple in this western style may be related to the geographical location of the thoroughfare of Wuhan’s nine provinces and the acceptance of a large number of western architectural creative elements due to the extensive concessions.
During the period of the Republic of China in the 1920s and 1930s, it was recorded that the Gude Temple was the first of all the temples in three towns in Wuhan. Every Buddhist period, although the architectural styles were different, the pilgrims and believers were in an endless stream, and incense was extremely popular.
The main gate of the Gude Temple is located in the street, which is almost closed all the year round. But if you come here, you will see a sign of the Gude Temple with a blue background. The style of writing is dignified and powerful, which is written by President Li Yuanhong. In 2013, the Gude Temple with a history of more than 100 years was listed as the national key cultural relics protection unit as an important historical site in modern times and its representative Western-style buildings
Walking into the main gate of Goodall, a magnificent four-sided Buddha first came into sight. This four-sided Buddha was invited from Thailand by Hong Kong businessmen when Hong Kong returned in 1997. Due to the piety of the whole people to Buddhism, Thailand is also known as the country of Buddhism. Buddhism, also from India, has been different from the style of the mainland of China for thousands of years. Therefore, this four-sided Buddha also has obvious exotic characteristics, which is also somewhat similar to the architectural style of Gude Temple.
Further inside, you can see a Tianwang Temple, which is like a temple building in Jiangnan Water Town. There are four Tianwang and Maitreya Buddha enshrined in it. Next to the Temple of the Heavenly King is a multi-storey modern building, which is the living place for monks. Finally, the main building of the Gude Temple is the Yuantong Hall.
There are no painted wooden porches or paper screen lamps, but some are a combination of Roman, Gothic, Islamic and Byzantine architectural styles. You can say what it looks like, but you never think it will be a Buddhist temple.
Here you can see the Corinthian columns and Ionic columns of ancient Greek temples, and the pointed arched windows of Islamic or Gothic buildings. These arched windows are also decorated with classic decorations of Southern Buddhism, such as rocs, golden winged birds and lion heads.
The large bronze bell with the three characters of Gude Temple in the front of the hall pulled the tourists back to the original Buddhist atmosphere from these strange architectural decorations. The minarets from the top of the hall, which look like an ancient castle, are actually Buddhist pagodas. There are nine minarets with hollow bodies, surrounded by nearly 100 lotus square piers, and the 24 heavens stand in the middle of every four lotus piers.
Different from the different exterior decoration, the authentic Buddha statue in the hall finally relieved the faithful men and women. A famous saying of the Great Monk Jigong of the Buddha Immortal once said: “The wine and meat pass through the intestines, and the Buddha stays in the heart”, while the Gude Temple is “like an ancient castle in appearance, and the Buddha sits in the heart”. Maybe my Buddha only pays attention to piety, but form is not important.