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Cliff-top Chinese temple still sitting tight after more than four centuries

While the average lifespan of a modern building in China about 30 years, a tiny Taoist temple has stood intact for more than four centuries without concrete and steel on a remote mountain peak in Zhenan county, Shaanxi province, the news website Hsw.cn reports.

The Leshan Grand Buddha has been standing tall for 1,000 years and greets travellers with a smile

The highest structure of the temple, with a floor are of six square metres, sits 1,666 metres above sea level on stony pillars hammered deep into the rock cracks of the mountain. Three sides face sheer cliffs while narrow stone stairs provide the only access to the temple.

The entire temple has five buildings, including a hall where monks study and recite sacred texts, as well as a pagoda to store the remains of master monks.

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The temple was built in 1582 AD during the Ming Dynasty, one of China’s most powerful empires that was noted for its engineering marvels included the largest naval fleets ever seen that cross oceans to remote ports in East Africa.

The temple’s unique location attracts many tourists and worshippers throughout the year. It is also called “golden peak” because of a gold-plated spire on the temple’s roof that reflects bright flashes of sunlight that pierce the hanging mist.