Yu Qian Temple, Hangzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

yu qian temple hangzhou

Located at the foot of Santai Mountain on the west side of West Lake in Hangzhou, Yu Qian Temple (于谦祠) is a traditional-style temple building characterized by white walls, gray tiles, and a grand vermilion gate. The solemn inscription “Yu Zhongsu Gong Ci (于忠肃公祠)” in official script adds to its dignified ambiance. The temple comprises three sections: the front hall, main hall, and rear hall, with a total floor area of over 900 square meters. Additionally, there are northern and southern side rooms between the front and main halls, with an additional side hall to the north of the northern side room.

Yu Qian, a national hero of the Ming Dynasty, rose to prominence during the tumultuous events of the Tumu Crisis in 1449. Following the capture of Emperor Yingzong during the Tumu Crisis, Yu Qian, then serving as a minister in the Ministry of War, ascended to the position of Minister of Personnel. He supported Emperor Zhengtong, opposing the plan to relocate southward. Yu Qian rallied troops and successfully repelled the invading forces outside Beijing. Despite the pressure, he managed to secure the release of Emperor Yingzong the following year. Yu Qian, along with other notable figures such as Yue Fei and Zhang Huangyan, is often revered as one of the “Three Heroes of West Lake.”

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours8.30 – 16.30; Closed on Mondays
Telephone Number0086-0571-87962534

Location and Transportation

Yu Qian Temple is nestled at the foothills of Santai Mountain by the shores of Turtle Pond, located in the scenic area surrounding West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. To get there, you can take bus 197 or 510 and get off at Yuqianci Stop (于谦祠站).

Highlights of Yu Qian Temple

Statue in the Central Hall

statue in the central hall of yu qian temple

The main highlight of Yu Qian Temple is its central hall, serving as the focal point of the shrine and boasting the most distinctive exhibits. Spanning 21.8 meters in width and 14.15 meters in depth, the hall features a towering statue of Yu Qian at its center, exuding an aura of solemnity and righteousness. Standing at 3.2 meters tall with a base of 1.3 meters, the statue depicts Yu Qian in a dignified posture, with piercing eyes and a resolute expression. The base of the statue is adorned with a pattern of sea waves, while behind the statue, the wall displays the poem “Lime Ode” written by Marshal Xu Xiangqian, with a Qing Dynasty plaque above bearing the inscription “Danxin Kangjie 丹心抗节” (Loyal Heart and Unyielding Spirit), bestowed by Emperor Qianlong during his visit to Hangzhou in the 16th year of his reign to pay tribute to Yu Qian.

Adorning the walls of the main hall are two large semi-circular relief murals. On the left is the “Defense of Beijing” depicting scenes from the defense of the capital, while on the right is the “Tumu Crisis,” illustrating the events of the Tumu Crisis. The pillars of the hall are adorned with several couplets praising Yu Qian’s enduring achievements, composed by renowned scholars of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and inscribed by contemporary calligraphers.

Exhibition in the Rear Hall

rear hall in yu qian temple

Moving to the rear hall, visitors encounter an exhibition dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Yu Qian. Through a combination of illustrations, photographs, and textual displays, the exhibition is divided into four sections: “Youthful Aspirations,” “Diligence and Integrity in Governance,” “Defense of Beijing,” and “Eternal Reverence in History,” providing a detailed account of Yu Qian’s noble character, remarkable achievements, and tragic life story. Display cases on either side showcase Yu Qian’s writings and various works of commentary about him from different historical periods, including “Collected Works of Yu Sumin,” “Biography of Yu, the Loyal and Respected Duke,” and “Records of the Temple and Tomb of Duke Yu Zhongsu.”

Yu Qian’s Tomb

tomb of yu qian in yu qian temple

Just 50 meters north of the main entrance to Yu Qian Temple stands a Ming-style archway, marking the beginning of a long pathway leading to Yu Qian’s tomb. Flanked by lush greenery and solemn stone statues, the pathway exudes an atmosphere of reverence and dignity. At the end of the 100-meter pathway lies the tomb of Yu Qian, a provincial-level key cultural relic protected site. The tombstone bears the inscription “Tomb of Duke Yu Zhongsu, Grand Tutor, Minister of War, Posthumously Titled Loyal and Respected” and was re-engraved during the tomb’s restoration in 1982. The stone pedestal beneath the tombstone and the stone altar in front of the tomb are original artifacts from the Ming Dynasty, adding to the historical significance of the site.

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