Zhang Fei Temple China, Chongqing

Zhang Fei Temple

The Zhang Fei Temple was constructed to honor General Zhang Fei, a Chinese military leader from the Three Kingdoms Period. According to legend, the gold used to finance the construction of the temple was fished out of the Yangtze River, along with the severed head of the general, who had been killed by two of his underlings.

During the 1,700 years since the temple was constructed, successive dynasties and emperors have added extensions to it. The temple includes an enormous hall in which a large statue of Zhang Fei can be found, a tower called Jieyi Tower, and pavilions to honor the poet Du Fu, who lived in the temple for two years.

The temple has unfortunately now been lost to the waters of the Yangtze as the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in 2006 caused waters to rise above the level of the temple. Many of the monuments have been saved, including the large statue of Zhang Fei and the ornate front gates.