With history that extends several millennia, Wuhan is one of the oldest civilized cities of central China. Since its beginnings over 3000 years ago, it has grown into the most populous city in the central region. Walking into the famous temples of Wuhan is like taking a step into a time bubble that has preserved an ancient time in the middle of a modern metropolis.
Being considered a centre for art and knowledge, the city has several temples that are testimonials to Chinese art and architecture. In the west of the Hanyang district is the Guiyuan temple, dedicated to Buddhism and structured delicately and colourfully. Inside the complex is one of the most famous Lohan halls in China. The ornately decorated hall contains 500 statues of Lohan or Arhat monks, each different from one another, but all weighing no more than 25 kg. As traditions go, visitors count the statues until they come to the number of their age and the face of the Arhat will show your fortune for the year. Other halls hold carvings, rare paintings and calligraphies and religious books that are conserved for their historical and cultural significance.
A bit further away is the Baotong Temple where nature takes over. The three springs and two large bells that are almost 900 years old are hidden away in among vegetation atop the hill that holds the temple. Called the Hongshan Pagoda, it dates back more than 1500 years and red, yellow and orange colours adorn the current pagoda which extends 44.5 metres to the sky. The serenity of the temple is elevated by the beauty of its natural surroundings.
The Gude Temple in Hankou, another famous temple in Wuhan, does not look like a typical Chinese or Buddhist establishment for worship from the outside at all. Built in the Burmese Ananda style, it bears close resemblance to a Gothic church as well. Only when one steps inside and sees the intricate statues of the Bodhisatva, is the strange mix of Theravada, Mahayana and Tibetian Buddhism visible. It is also more recent – a good 140 years young – than other prominent temples in the city.
This ancient city is a key player in Chinese commerce and tourism and the new traveller is offered various types of accommodation in Wuhan. The style and service of a hotel and comfort and privacy of a home is replicated in Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan, a modern Apart’hotel offering serviced apartments fully equipped as a residence. This Wuhan accommodation is ideal for families and business travellers on long or short stays in the region.