— The main hall of the Baoguo Temple dates back to 1013 AD during the northern Song dynasty. Now the thousand-year-old temple is to undergo extensive renovations, in order to preserve it for another millennium.
The Baoguo Temple, nestled into the slopes of the Lingshan Mountain just outside the city of Ningbo, is a piece of living history. The main part of the temple is 1000 years old, built during the Song dynasty, and is one of the oldest and best preserved wooden structures in China. Not a single nail was used to build it, as it is made entirely from wood.
In 1961 the temple was recognized as one of the first batch of Historical Sites enjoying national class protection, in the league of Beijing’s Palace Museum and Gansu Province’s Dunhuang Grottos.
But the temple has not escaped its share of misfortune. Fire, lightning strikes, typhoons and erosion have all plagued the historical site. But there have been no significant renovations since 1975. Experts now say the structure is tilting to one side.
“The renovations will specially treat the wood, to ensure it isn’t damaged by humidity, erosion and mould. In addition, the government should also pay more attention to the air pollution problem here.” said Prof. Guo Daiheng, Tsinghua University.
Now a thorough plan for the renovation has been made, work has begun, with inspectors able to work round-the-clock thanks to state-of-the-art equipment installed inside the temple. Those overseeing the project ensure that it will be undertaken and completed sympathetically, adhering to guidelines that ensure the original building be protected.