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Dragon King Temple (Longwang miao 龍王廟) Taubes, Hannibal


Village name and precise coordinates concealed to protect potentially vulnerable sites from looters; the village is located in Yu County of Hebei Province (Hebei sheng Yu xian 河北省蔚縣). This small Dragon King temple sits just south of the east-facing gate of the walled village, constructed in 1516. The overhanging wooden eaves of the temple suggest that the structure may be of similar age. The murals inside are from the 19th or early 20th centuries. The central (north) wall is now destroyed, but the two flanking walls show a relatively standard procession sequence, in which the Dragon Kings ride out amidst clouds and rain on the east wall, and return in rainbows on the east. Notable is the Crystal Palace (shuijing gong 水晶宮) of the Dragon Mother on the inner (northern) side of each composition, which is portrayed as a European-influenced palace on the east wall, and as a Chinese-style temple on the west. The lower register of the west wall depicts a votive procession with an elaborate Daoist temple band. In 2018, the building was used as a storehouse, and the east wall was beginning to cave in.

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