Fodor's Expert Review Temple of Longevity
A Ming empress built this temple to honor her son in 1578. Qing emperor Qianlong later restored it as a birthday present to his mother. From then until the fall of the Qing, it served as a rest stop for imperial processions traveling by boat to the Summer Palace and Western Hills. The site also served as a Japanese military command center during occupation. Today the temple is managed by the Beijing Art Museum and houses a small but exquisite collection of Buddha images. The statues in the main halls include dusty Ming-period Buddhas and one of Shakyamuni sitting on a 1,000-petal, 1,000-Buddha bronze throne.