Sunday, January 13, 2013

Harbin 5 Temples (1/13/2013)

Sunday, January 13, 2013
We slept in, but still had time for a walk in the cold! It was also pretty smoggy.
To the west of our hotel is the Old Quarter, where the Russian Jews lived and worked. They built several schools, including schools of music.
The New Synagogue:
Completed in 1921, it is now the Harbin Jewish History and Culture Exhibition.
A motorcycle truck:
A former Jewish Soup Kitchen and Home for the Aged (1920):
Refinishing furniture outdoors:
This car took up two spaces:
Layers of snow:
We went looking for the train station (Harbin grew up around the railroad, after all), but we were on the wrong side of the tracks.
Outdoor refrigerator:
Ice cream displayed outside the shop!
Returned to the hotel via Zhongyang Dajie/Central Street. Yvonne said the cobblestones were a meter deep:
That would make quite a sturdy surface for transporting building materials for the railway.
Plaque showing the architectural significance of Central Street:
Brushing new fallen snow off the ice sculptures:
The temperature is -11 degrees F:
This building had a plaque stating it was built in 1917, so perhaps this is the former Xiehe Bank:
Inside the Qiulin Shop, I found the skylight, but no Sistine Chapel-like painting:
The Modern Hotel was supposed to have a famous Russian painting inspired by Dante:
Kent has one of the Modern Hotel ice cream bars:
The very creamy ice cream has been described as "Russian" flavored, but I would say it was a very strong vanilla flavor.
Yvonne and the driver picked us up at 11:00 after we checked out of the hotel. We drove to the Confucian Temple next to the Harbin University of Engineering, which is behind secured gates.
The Lingxing Wall before the bridge:
Completed in 1939, it was too late for this academy to produce a number one ranking scholar who would have the honor of  tearing this wall down, according to Yvonne.
The decorative gate:
Again, the three paths with the center one for the emperor, the one on the right for military officers, and the one on the left for civil officials.
Statue of Confucius:
A side hall:
The main hall:
Rear hall:
The Confucuian Temple houses the Ethnology Museum, of which only one building is open in the winter. A nice display of artifacts.
Back in the car for the short drive to Jile/Heavenly Bliss Temple. Not enough time to properly warm up!
The temple street with shops and a Ferris wheel in the distance:
Jile Temple Mountain Gate:
Built to resemble the Chinese character for mountain.
The temple was completed in 1923, with a bell tower:
And drum tower across the courtyard in front of the Hall of Heavenly King:
The courtyard in front of the Hall of Mahavira:
The base of trees are mounded with snow:
Incense burner at the Hall of Mahavira:
The Hall of Three Saints:
Eave animal guardians:
The Scripture-storing Tower holds treasure like a white jade Buddha:
A sculpture group is buried under snow:
A gallery with copper relief art:
Painted beams:
A string of pieces of parsnip, apparently strung by the monks, kept frozen until needed to eat:
A common practice in the north, but is it hanging here in case someone gets hungry at the temple? Or is it an offering?
There were many outbuildings in the temple, including two halls of the 500 Arhats. Here is one Arhat having his ear cleaned:
The Long-armed Arhat:
Snow shovels:
The pagoda:
A plaza with a monitor showing a monk giving a sermon, his voice was projected over the entire temple area:
The Relic Pavilion:
Pigeons in the plaza:
After visiting the temple, we went for a late lunch at Minhang Restaurant for hot pot:
We were given so much food!
With still some time before going to the airport, we were taken to a former China Eastern Railway workshop:
What a time to have your wedding photos taken!
Locomotive SY 0658 and tender:
Workshop buildings:
Mao was here:
And he knew to wear a thick coat!
Yvonne bought us a bottle of kvass, a fermented beverage made from rye bread:
According to Russian standards, it is non-alcoholic (1% alcohol)!
At the airport we had plenty of time before our 19:50 flight back to Shanghai.
Chocolate coffee drink:

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