In the 26th year of Kaiyuan Period (738AD) of Xuanzong Emperor of the Tang dynasty, Xuanzong emperor decreed that the whole country should select ten big prefectures to construct temples and gave the emperor’s reign title “Kaiyuan” as their name, one of which is Kaiyaun Temple in Chaozhou. It was called Kaiyuanwanshou or A long life of Kaiyuan Monastic Temple in the Yuan dynasty and changed name to kaiyuanzhenguo Temple or Kaiyuan guarding Temple till now since the Ming dynasty. The temple features with the architectural style and artistic quality of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
It is large-scale, solemn and magnificent. Originally covering 100mu (now 20.3mu, about 13516 Square meters). It is a relatively complete palace quadrangle architectural complex of the Tang dynasty. There is the stone inscription “Buddhist Heaven and Incense World” on the wall outside of the temple. Inside of the temple there are four courtyards, the first one is Jingang Hall, the second one is Tianwang Hall and the third one is the main part, Daxiongbaodian Hall and the last one is the Cangjinglou where Confucian classics are stored. The east and west corridors are over 60 meters vertically, where Guanyin Pavilion, Liuzu Hall, Dicang Attic and Abbots’ Room were built.
Kaiyuan Temple is unsophisticated and tasteful, filling with the workers’ intelligence. In 1980, after large-scale rebuilding, the ancient temple shined dazzlingly again. Every day, there are uncountable tourists at home and abroad coming to worship and visit.