Location: Zhongyang Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang
Locates in Zhongjie of Shenhe District, on the north of Shenyang Commercial Town, Changan Temple is the earliest complete group of Buddhism temple buildings. As the old saying goes “Changan Temple was built first and then Shenyang City”. The build time of Changan Temple is uncertain. The current Changan Temple was rebuilt in 1487(the 23rd year of Ming Chenghua Dynasty). According to the Inscription of Rebuilding Shenyang Changan Buddhism Temple, the betterment was taken in period of Yongle, Shunde, Tianshun of Ming Dynasty, and rebuilding was taken in the period of Chenghua of Ming Dynasty. In Qing Dynasty, the restoration for the temple was taken for many times.
The whole temple covers about 5,200 square meters, the building of temple covers 1,500 square meters. Locates in the north and faces the south, the temple forms as long square, with three courtyards inside, and there are gray-brick walls around the temple without pattern on them. From south to north, three gates locates in the first courtyard, and attached eastern and western palaces, bell towers and drum towers were built inside the gate. Tianwang Palace is located in the middle of the north, with three-room in width and one in depth, gray tiles covering the rooftop, the palace is designed as Xiaoshi Yingshan Style and Luming Style is used in inside construction. There is a brick wall locates in each side of Tianwang Palace, which becomes a separation between the first and second courtyard. The second courtyard could be entered through corner gate. Theatrical stage is just locates behind the Tianwang Palace, with two rooftops combined as one. With one room inside, forms as square, the stage is smaller than the palace, and its round ridge roof is covered by gray tiles. Four ambulatories are built in the space formed by Tianwang Palace, worship palaces and western and eastern attached palaces, which connects buildings inside the second courtyard together. Worship Palace and Great Palace, the main buildings of Changan Temple, locates in the opposite of theatrical stage. The great palace is designed as Xieshan Dashi Style with single eaves, covered by gray tiles. Dougong brackets of the great palace is “three qiao seven cai”. The palace is three-room long in width and one in depth, with colorful paintings on purlins. The Luming Style is used in inner structure of the palace. Two inscriptions are inlaid on the wall in both sides, which were rebuilt in Daoguang Period (Qing Dynasty). There are four stone steles locate in both sides of corner gates of the Worship Palace. Ten attached rooms are located in both sides of the Worship Palace, and all designed as Yingshan Qianlang Style, with round ridge roof covered by gray tiles. The main building inside the third courtyard is the Back Palace. It is designed as Xieshan Style, covered by gray tiles. With five-room long in width and three in depth, Luming Style is used in inside construction. There are also colorful paintings on purlins. Three attached palaces were built in both the east and west side of the Back Palace. With round ridge roof, covered by the gray tiles, the Yingshan Qianlang Style was used in attached palaces. Buddhist abbot’s quarters are located in the northwestern corner of the Back Palace.
Several restorations to Changan Temple were taken after the liberation of Shenyang. In 1985, Shenyang Municipal Government appropriated funds to rebuild the temple. In February, 1985, Changan Temple was announced as important municipality historic site by Shenyang Municipal Government.