OALibJ  Vol.8 No.7 , July 2021
A Brief Analysis on the Protection and Development of Daci Temple Area in Chengdu
Abstract: Daci Temple Historic Block is located in Chengdu Daci Temple Historic Reserve. The main building of the reserve, Daci Temple, was built in Tang Dynasty, and the surrounding historical block was formed at the beginning of the last century. It is a typical mixed form of temple and street market, and also a vivid example of the cultural form of western Sichuan market. With the acceleration of central city construction in Chengdu and the completion of environmental landscape renovation of Chunxi road business district, the protection and utilization of the historic district of Daci temple, which is close at hand, is becoming increasingly urgent. How to make the historic district survive in the new historical period and how to integrate the historic district into modern life is the answer that this paper actively explores. This paper understands the current situation and existing problems of Daci Temple in architecture and culture through theoretical research and field research and puts forward some feasible suggestions for reference only.

1. Introduction

1.1. Research Background

Daci Temple is located on the east side of the most prosperous Chunxi Road commercial economic zone in Chengdu. It is particularly eye-catching for the magnificent buildings of Tang Dynasty style imitated by red walls, tile tiles and carved eaves of Zhu Pavilion. Daci Temple, first built in the Wei and Jin dynasties, reached its peak in the Tang and Song dynasties, and has a history of more than 1600 years, known as the “First Jungle of the Titan”. It is now the Chengdu Museum [1]. At that time, the construction area of Daci Temple occupied less than half of the eastern city of Chengdu, and it was the largest Buddhist temple in Southwest China. Its reputation and Mount Emei, with a temple and a mountain competition, can prove how brilliant Temple is in history. Mount Emei is known throughout the country for its Puxian Doctrine, and Daci Temple is renowned for its doctrinal research and mural art.

In the first year of the Tang Dynasty (618), Master Xuan Zang, a famous monk, great thinker, traveler, translator, and outstanding emissary of China-India cultural exchanges, received his full ordain here and spent five years studying the Buddhist Rhythm. It used to be the place where Master Xuan Zang’s knowledge and courage were cultivated. It was also the cradle where Master Xuan Zang’s noble monkhood, morality and profound wisdom were cultivated. It was also the starting point where Master Xuan Zang determined to solve his doubts, travel to the west for Buddhist scriptures, and complete the great feat known both at home and abroad.

In the vicinity of Daci Temple, commerce flourished. Seasonality markets were formed in the dam in front of the temple, such as light market, flower market, silkworm market, medicine market, hemp market, qipao market, etc. At the same time, night markets were formed along the banks of Yuxi in front of the temple, and the custom of night markets has been passed down to modern times [2]. Daci Temple not only Buddhist prosperity, enlightenment one side, but also in the history of the formation of January light city, February silkworm city, May incense city, July seven treasure city, September medicine city …. Till December, the Taofu City, Night Market and other market trading places have become the leisure and communication space for literati and citizens of Chengdu since the Tang Dynasty [3].

Daci Temple was destroyed by war at the end of the Ming Dynasty. It was rebuilt during the Shunzhi Period of the Qing Dynasty and again in 1867 in the sixth year of Tongzhi Period [3]. On the central axis, there are the Shanmen Hall, the Maitreya Hall, the Guanyin Hall, the Great Hero Hall, the Dharma Hall and the Sutra Chamber, and on the two sides, there are the Hall of Houses, the Hall of Zhai, the Hall of Zen and the Hall of Quit, covering an area of more than 40 mu. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, due to the need for urban expansion, the area of Daci Temple has been less than 20 mu, which is 1/50 of the peak period, and the floor area is only 1/96 of the original.

The protection and utilization of Daci Temple Historical Reserve are not only related to the continuation of the urban context but also related to the continuation of urban residents’ living habits [4]. How to adhere to the continuation and inheritance of religion in the center of modern city, how to adapt the fast pace of life to the slow pace of life, how to combine dynamic and static, how to repair old houses and reasonable arrangement of personnel, these are the problems that need to be solved in the research on the protection and utilization of Daci Temple block.

1.2. Research Significance

1.2.1. Theoretical Significance

Religion in political, economic and cultural life in China occupies an important position, the development of religion, a large number of temple was built in the city, these temples, except as a place for people to pray to Buddha for help because it is the convergence characteristics of the population and thus become a comprehensive public places, attracted numerous merchants, and formed with Chinese characteristics business combined with religion. The protection and utilization of Daci Temple Historical Reserve is related to the continuation of the urban context and makes people think about the protection of urban historical buildings in the new era.

At present, the theoretical research on Daxi Temple is only a single research on the culture, environment and architecture of Daxi Temple, and less comprehensive research from multi-disciplinary perspectives. This paper makes up for the shortcomings of the academic circle from the perspective of multidisciplinary degree. By understanding the measures taken for the sustainable protection of the protected buildings in urban historic districts, it will be beneficial to the accumulation of theoretical research results on the protection and utilization of historic districts in urban planning, and it will also have positive theoretical significance for the exploration of methods for the protection and inheritance of religions. At the same time, because of the great significance of Daci Temple to Chengdu, the study of Daci Temple will encourage more scholars to further explore it in this field, so as to further increase the strength of the practical investigation and theoretical accumulation of the architectural protection of Daci Temple.

1.2.2. Practical Significance

The multi-cultural nature of Daci Temple plays an important role in the history and cultural development of Chengdu. Although the architecture and scale of Daci Temple have changed, some of the cultural traditions it represents have been handed down. Such as Sichuan Opera singing, calligraphy and painting auction, clay sculpture and so on. The most typical culture is the teahouse culture. In the vast open-air courtyard, dozens of tables and chairs are arranged in a spectacular way. Tea guests sit on the creaking bamboo chairs to drink tea, read newspapers and chat. Although Daci Temple no longer has brilliant murals and vast Buddhist events, but it still condenses the city Huamenjing folk nostalgic feelings.

However, the “Chengdu Yuangtaigu Li” commercial pedestrian street recently developed and built in the religious historical area of Daci Temple is full of luxury brands. The modern luxury culture carried by it runs contrary to the state of transcending vulgar material desires and obtaining spiritual liberation advocated by the “Four Noble Truth” of Buddhism of Daci Temple. However, the industrial civilization with a shortage of resources and a serious deterioration of the environment is bound to be replaced by ecological civilization, and the excessive concept of material consumption will also be replaced by the environmentally friendly consumption model. Under the background of this trend, the present luxury business form of Taikoo Li commercial street and the religion, market, folk custom and traditional business in the historical area of Daci temple will seek a way of expression of harmonious coexistence.

For a large part of the early residents living nearby, Daci Temple played an important role in traditional customs, living habits, emotional expression and other aspects. The research on the development and protection measures of the buildings of Daci Temple will be beneficial to improve the practicality and convenience of the daily life of the residents nearby. The existence of ancient buildings for a long period of time is bound to have many security risks, which are the key points for the protection and development of traditional buildings [5]. Thinking about the disadvantages and giving some feasible suggestions will also be conducive to the long-term vitality of the Daci Temple block.

2. Current Situation and Problems of Construction of Daci Temple in Chengdu

With the continuous advancement of urban modernization and the rapid economic development, cities are facing more and more problems, among which the protection and development of urban history and culture is the main problem [6]. However, the problems in the protection area are accumulated in the long process, and the solution to these problems cannot be simplified [7]. We must consider the protection and utilization of the historical district, and take measures according to the local conditions, so that the renewal and utilization of the protection area can walk on the road of a virtuous cycle.

Through field research and relevant literature sorting, I found the current problems existing in Daxi Temple [8]. The historical block of Daci Temple is surrounded by modern buildings and occupied by farmers’ markets for a long time. The residents in the residential area are mixed and the social situation is complex. There are many existing problems, mainly as follows:

1) The road surface in the area is relatively broken due to long-term overuse.

2) There is a lack of infrastructure in the area, and there is no systematic upstream and downstream water pipeline, which leads to serious environmental pollution.

3) The phenomenon of wire misuse is serious, there are serious safety risks.

4) There are no nearby garbage treatment facilities, and a large amount of domestic garbage and garbage generated by business cannot be treated in time.

5) Lack of public facilities, such as only two public toilets in the original area.

6) The property right of the building is confused and the living density is too high. The composition of the resident personnel is complex, the settler and the tenant personnel are mixed, the floating population is much.

7) In residential buildings, private reconstruction, private construction is serious, the ground and foundation, or subsidence, or buried, blurred the internal space of traditional residential.

8) For the wooden structure system with the bucket as the main body, the material is old and aging, and the root of the wooden column has the phenomenon of decay; the roof is badly damaged and leaks from time to time.

9) There are big problems in the integrity of the media on the outer wall, and there are many materials such as rolling shutter doors, cement and ceramic tiles, especially the wall facing the street; Due to the lack of kitchen, bathroom and other basic facilities in the residence, living conditions are harsh.

10) Due to the existence of the farmers’ market and the handmade food production by the renters, the living environment in the whole area is relatively bad, and there is no public greening except the private courtyard greening.

11) The resident population is seriously aging.

3. Preservation Strategy for the Main Building of Chengdu Daci Temple

Chengdu Daci Temple is located near Taikoo Li Business District and Chunxi Road, located on the central axis of the city [9]. The protection of the Daci Temple area is closely related to the development of the city, and the continuation of the urban culture is linked with the development of the commercial center of the city. Therefore, the protection of the Daci Temple must be related to the environmental, social and economic interests [10]. Through the analysis of the historical block of Daci temple, we can draw the conclusion that only through appropriate methods, targeted and comprehensive solutions, can we solve the complex problems in the protection block. From the historical position and present situation of Daci Temple Historic Protected Block in the city, the future position of Daci Temple Historic Protected Block should be defined as a multi-functional modern commercial pedestrian block with the characteristics of traditional market culture in Chengdu.

The overall development direction and commercialization direction of Daci Temple Historical District are shown as follows:

1) We must emphasize the protection of the spatial pattern within the block and adjust the functional layout of the block at the same time.

2) Preserve the existing buildings with historical value and restore the original traditional spatial pattern.

3) To update the infrastructure of the block and improve the environmental quality of the block.

4) Reduce residential density.

5) Give full play to the cultural value of the block itself.

6) Combining protection with utilization, the regional advantages of the protected areas should be brought into play.

7) On the basis of inheriting the tradition, shape the modern urban landscape with regional characteristics.

8) Business clusters with traditional cultural industries as the core, such as traditional handicrafts, painting and calligraphy, antiques, drugstores, jewelry, old furniture sales.

9) It is a civic activity place for tourism, leisure, entertainment and food mainly showing the culture of Chuan-Shu Market, such as station, teahouse, local opera appreciation, local snacks and famous local specialties, bonsai art, traditional entertainment programs.

10) City center integrated with modern commercial culture, such as office, finance, cultural bar, personal studio, clothing monopoly, etc.

4. Guiding Principles and Specific Measures

Although the existing commercial atmosphere in the historic block has no longer been the grand occasion of “a hundred markets and a wide collection” in the Tang Dynasty, the mixed city features still have the aftertaste of those days. Market culture is the intrinsic cultural feature of Daci Temple historic protection block, and it is the reference point and starting point of protection and utilization of Daci Temple. Therefore, the protection and utilization of the Daci Temple area should adhere to the principles of maintaining historical authenticity, small-scale development, “step by step” principle, the principle of sustainable development, the principle of the juxtaposition of protection and development.

1) House repair, long-term use

According to the relevant technical data of surveying and mapping, maximize the reduction of Jamchen Lhakhang Monastery in all the history of ancient architecture and its appendages, in accordance with the principle of “the old as before” the protection of cultural relics, the main structure and enclosure system implementation of reinforcement, antisepsis, moth proofing, opposite detail defects, destroyed part of implementing the same generic substitution raw materials, and demonstrate its original on colour change, To achieve the process and history of the dual true reflection of the environment, the implementation of the overall planning and design of the building environment, follow the historical facts to restore its internal and surrounding landscape, demolition of the visual impact of the post-construction, new buildings, to ensure that the area of the building, the environment of the coordination and unity and real, fire prevention and theft facilities are perfect, timely inspection and update. The style of porch doors and Windows on both sides should be consistent with the main hall. The existing trees in the temple should also be taken good care of.

2) Increase the flow of people and restore the vitality of the past

Originally a museum in Chengdu, Daci Temple has been transformed into an open-air teahouse for daily gatherings of the elderly in the neighborhood. After it was reopened to the public, the original religious functions were restored, and the cleared courtyard was placed with incense burners and other worships. Rooms on both sides of the veranda have become small shops selling sacrificial supplies and traditional handicrafts. As the tea house was moved to a temporary small courtyard next to the courtyard, the temple is not as popular as before. The author believes that the religious function of Daci Temple has been weakened in daily life due to its long-term idle, and there is no need to restore it forcibly. People’s change in the functional use of this place should be respected. No matter the Buddha or business, they must collect popularity. Therefore, the upper branch can restore the function of the teahouse on the basis of strengthening management and updating facilities, and introduce some characteristic commercial stores in the idle rooms on both sides, such as antiques, old books, calligraphy and painting, mounting, traditional wood carving and so on, to create a leisure and commercial atmosphere, attract visitors to stay, or for the better.

3) Protect culture and deepen its connotation

Daci Temple was once an important place for amusement gatherings in the Tang Dynasty. The Lantern Festival Lantern Festival, dragon boat racing on the original Xieyu River and Funan River, duck racing, lantern lighting and praying for good luck all left an unforgettable memory for Chengdu people. In the spring of the New Year, the cross talk party held by the Daci temple and the lively scene of lighting up the Funan River for blessing made people relive the forgotten customs. The revival of these folk customs will enhance the cultural cohesion of the Daci Temple Historical Reserve and enrich the cultural connotation of the historic district. In addition, other popular folk art forms, such as juggling and face-changing in Sichuan opera, can also be included in the entertainment performances at Daci Temple Square. If the performance can be performed at different times every day, it is bound to attract a large number of visitors to watch it, which will gather popularity for the historic district and increase the diversity of crowd activities in the historic district.

4) Promote the development of tourism and commercial culture

Historical and cultural protection is the embodiment of the reserve traditional style, therefore the manner of its development and utilization should be represented by traditional residence in Sichuan courtyard, street folk culture supplemented by relevant business tourism industry development, including Jamchen Lhakhang Monastery in front of the square can be as a leisure square, as a festive holiday recreation and watch the performance. Guangdong guild hall exhibition south of Daci Si street, tourism, local characteristic food and beverage, handicraft goods exhibition and sales, picture 1, mass cultural and sports activities with fashionable business. We can establish high-grade commercial outlets with regional traditional characteristics such as handicrafts, galleries, calligraphy and painting mounting, antiques, jewelry, and a small number of special restaurants. At the same time, we can also set up fashion business such as fashion, famous brand furniture, home decor, bar, tea bar, artist studio, small business office and other businesses according to modern functions of the business.

5. Conclusion

It can be seen that the historical features of Daci Temple Historic Block are seriously damaged, which is mainly caused by the long-term overload of the historical block’s carrying urban functions. The increasingly high population density and the unreasonable functional structure have become the main obstacles threatening the development of Daci Temple. The living conditions of residents in the block cannot be effectively solved due to the old disrepair of the buildings of Daci Temple, which is even far lower than the living standard of modern cities. Moreover, the regional advantage of the historical district in the city is far from giving full play to its potential commercial value. The Daci Temple Historic District is one of the three existing historical districts in Chengdu, which should shine in modern urban life. Therefore, it is urgent to protect and utilize the historic district of Daci Temple. The renovation and development of the historic districts will surely inject diversified cultural characteristics into Chengdu and ignite new commercial hotspots in the city center.


First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor for taking the time to revise my paper during his busy schedule, and for providing many key and effective opinions for my paper.

I would like to thank my family for their academic support and thank the roommates for their understanding and support.

Cite this paper: Cheng, B.J. (2021) A Brief Analysis on the Protection and Development of Daci Temple Area in Chengdu. Open Access Library Journal, 8, 1-9. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1107708.

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