Jin Shrines, Sage Mother Hall  晉祠聖母殿



  • Sage Mother Hall (English)
  • 聖母殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 圣母殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Shèngmǔdiàn (Pinyin)
  • Sheng-mu-tien (Wade-Giles)
  • Holy Mother Hall (English)
  • Jinci Shengmudian (English)
  • 晉祠聖母殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 晋祠圣母殿 (Simplified Chinese)


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 37.708727° Long. 112.434575°
  • Building Information

    The Sage Mother Hall, also known as the Holy Mother Hall, is the oldest building in the Jinci Shrine complex, as well as one of the most important surviving wooden structures in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). The building has undergone repeated restoration, and the foundation likely dates to the ninth year of Taiping Xingguo (太平興國) reign period (984) of the Northern Song Dynasty (Chai 2000, 11). The current timber structure was likely built between 1038 and 1087 (Miller 2007,122). The hall was repaired under imperial orders in the first year of the Chongning(崇寧) reign (1102)of the Northern Song, later after Song Dynasty there were another five larger repairs. In 1992, it was renovated due to sinking foundations and tilting of the hall.(Chai 2000,15)1

    The Sage Mother Hall is located on the base of the Mount Xuanwen. It is east-west oriented and the main entrance is facing the east, in front of which is the Flying Bridge. The hall with a double-eaves hip-gable roof, is placed on a foundation platform, which measuring a front facade of 26.71 meters and side facades of 21.15 meters. The main body of the hall is five-bay across the front facade and eight-rafter along the side facades, which are surrounded by a second set of eaves covering a veranda that is one-bay (two-rafter) deeps along the side. It is characterized by cascading structures, the same as the diantang (palatial hall) configuration in Yingzao fashi. To create the four-rafter-deep ( 6.8 meters ) veranda along the front facade, four front columns of the central section in the central and second bays, are cut short and supported three-rafter beams of the front veranda. The cella is six-rafter deeps, roof frame of which is composed of through beams.

    The 43 sculptures inside the hall are thought to be original works of the Song Dynasty. In addition, the carved-wooden-dragon that coiled around eight lower-eave columns of the front facade is an isolated example of the Song Dynasty. Structures of the surrounded veranda, sunlight barriers, and inter bracket-set boards are all covered with polychrome paintings or wall paintings. Plaque over the central bay of the core hall reads Sage Mother of Clear Efficacy and Manifest Aid (顯靈昭濟聖母). Locals will make some offerings with fruits and cakes, and because the hall faces east, only in the early morning can the sunlight penetrate the front veranda and shine in front of the sculpture of Sage Mother in the cella. There are 30 stone monuments preserved in the surrounded veranda and 20 plaques of Ming and Qing dynasties hanging in the front veranda. (Southeast University Precision Mapping Project Team of Sage Mother Hall in Jin shrines, 2010-2012)

    聖母殿是晉祠內現存時代最古的一座建築物,也是現存最重要的北宋(960-1127)木構建築之一。殿初建於北宋 太平興國九年(984年)(柴 2000,11),今建築主體的建造年代約為1038-1087(Miller 2007,122)。北宋崇寧元年(1102)奉敕重修,宋以後還有五次較大的修繕。直至1992年,因基礎下沈,殿身傾斜等原因,聖母殿進行落架大修(柴 2000,15)。1


    殿內有彩塑43尊,多為宋代原塑。大殿正面八根下檐柱上有木制盤龍,為宋 Dynasty代孤例。前廊與副階的木構架、障日板與栱眼壁均分布有彩畫或壁畫。殿身心間上懸匾額“顯靈昭濟聖母”。因大殿朝向東方,僅清晨陽光可透入前廊,照射於殿中聖母像前,本地人亦會以果餅等略加供奉。大殿副階中保存有石碑30通,前廊懸掛匾額20塊。(東南大學晉祠聖母殿精細測繪項目組,2010-2012)

    Date 1038-1087
    Dynasty Northern Song 960 - 1127 2

    External Links

    Works Cited

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    • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

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    How to Cite This Entry

    Jin Shrines, Sage Mother Hall 晉祠聖母殿 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified April 18, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048x.


    Jin Shrines, Sage Mother Hall 晉祠聖母殿 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by . Entry published March 21, 2018. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048x.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Jin Shrines, Sage Mother Hall 晉祠聖母殿

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Dynamic Site Archive

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    • adding citation 2020 by Song Qisen

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