Wanshou Si, otherwise known as Longevity Temple, was built by a eunuch in the 16th century to house Buddhist scripture. It became a favorite rest stop for the Qianlong Emperor and his successors as they made their way to the Summer Palace by boat. This beautiful temple now houses the Beijing Art Museum. A long row of restored halls house an eclectic mix of exhibits on everything from ceramics to copperware to lacquer. Among the more interesting pieces are examples of Chinese calligraphy, painting, weaving, and embroidery from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Also on display are some modern Chinese and Japanese paintings. The nice rock garden in back was reportedly a favorite spot of the Dowager Empress Cixi. A visit here is a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.
- Tini Tran