Holy Water Temple
Sheng Shui Guan (Holy Spring Temple), so named after the freshwater spring around which the temple was constructed, is located in the village of Yaxi, near the city of Rongcheng at the foot of Mount Wei De. Mount Wei De is situated at the easternmost extremity of Shandong Peninsula, on the northern rim of Sanggou Bay. The largest nearby "mappable" city is Yatou, while the nearest transportation link is the city of Weihai, located on the northern coast of the peninsula, about 60 kilometers - or just over an hour's drive - northwest of Yatou.
Holy Spring Temple is the birthplace of the 800-year-old Quanzhen sect of Taoism, one of the main sects within Taoism (Wang Yuyang, one of the Seven Disciples of Quanzhen - alternately known as the Seven Masters of Quanzhen, the Seven Elders of Quanzhen, the Seven Immortals, and the Seven Perfected Beings - practiced Taoism on Mount Wei De, and was the founding father of Holy Spring Temple).
The temple, which is surrounded by bamboo, pine and a few very old (1000 years old!) gingko trees, has undergone restoration on several occasions. Besides the spring water, which is believed to have healing powers like the waters of, for example, Lourdes (in France), the leaves of Holy Spring Temple's gingko trees (Ginkgo biloba), are believed to have special healing powers.
There are over 30 special natural sites on the temple grounds, not surprising given the auspicious nature and history of the temple, a few of the most prominent being Yongjin Spring, Holy Spring Palace, Reclining Dragon Cave, the aforementioned ancient gingko trees and numerous grotesquely shaped stones, the result of uneven erosion. There are also a number of historic and more contemporary sites of interest here, including Wanshou Pagoda, Golden Nine-Dragon Pavilion, Zazen House, Precious Birds Field, the 260-meter-long Stelae Corridor of the Rongcheng Generals (featuring over 140 inscriptions by famous calligraphers), a 1000-meter-long cableway suspended across a valley, and the ruins of an older hut lived in by some of the earliest Taoist monks who came to the mountain to study and worship.
Lake Bailong is located nearby, as are the many peaks and caves on Mount Wei De. Forests of pine, bamboo and the occasional gingko tree clothe the mountain, partially concealing the manmade structures and adding to the beauty, charm and piety of Mount Wei De and its Holy Spring Temple.