Surrounded by the glass and steel high rises of modern Beijing is this still-active Taoist temple, dedicated to the God of Mount Tai, the holiest of the five sacred mountains of Taoism. The temple also serves as the Beijing Folk Customs Museum.
Organized around three primary courtyards, the building has 376 rooms spread over 4.7 hectares. Highlights within the temple include many historic stone stelae, and wood and plaster statues representing the various departments in the Taoist supernatural world.
In the 20th century the temple went into decline, at various times serving as a school, government offices and housing for hundreds of people. Finally in 1996 it was declared a national treasure and restored in 2002.