Can you believe that this building (Gude temple 古德寺) is a Chinese temple? Does it remind you of a Catholic Church?
This gothic style Chinese temple is extremely rare. At present, there are only two of such buildings in the world. (The other is Ananda Temple in Myammar. Take a look and compare to see if you think there are similarities. I personally feel the exterior is differ, but the interior has this Gothic feel.)
Not many locals in Wuhan, China knew about it so I had a hard time looking for it. In addition, it was very difficult to find any information in English for this temple.
It wasn’t even on the tourist ‘radar’. In fact, there weren’t any tourists when I finally found it.
The Gude temple covers an area of 20,000 square meters with a built up area of 3,600 square meters.
It’s a very peaceful place. Entry is free so it is definitely must go if you are in Wuhan.
History of Gude temple (古德寺)
The monastery, formerly known as Gude Maopeng, was founded in 1877 by the Longxi monk.
In October 1911, Master Changhong led Gudmaopeng monks, braved gunsfire to rescue the wounded soldiers of the Wuchang Uprising. After that, more than 3,000 martyr’s remains were buried on the side of the temple.
On April 13, 1912, Sun Yat-sen, China’s founding father, made a special trip to Gude Temple to pay respect to the martyr. In the same year, the Hubei military government repaired the martyrs’ graves on the side of the temple.
In 1914, the President of the Republic of China Li Yuanhong personally wrote a book for Gu De Mao Peng, taking the meaning of “good heart and ancient, Pudu virtue”, and renamed it Gude Temple. It status was upgraded to a National Temple.
During the land reform period (when land was confiscated and redistributed to poorer peasants), the monastery became a popular gathering point for monks in Wuhan. They would make matches, clothes, and makes print. The monks who worked at Gude Temple and Guangjiang Temple later became part of Wuhan Second Bicycle Factory.
During the Cultural Revolution, Gude Si was forced to close. The Buddha statues and cultural relics were all destroyed. In 1974, the land of the Gude Temple was used by the Wuhan Camera Factory.
In 1986, the Wuhan Municipal People’s Government decided to return the property rights to the Buddhist Association.
In 1996, Gude Si was reopened to the outside world, however many buildings are already destroyed.
In May 2013, Gude Temple achieved status of national cultural relics. (Equivalent of UNESCO heritage status but on a national level.)
How to get to Gudesi temple 古德寺 in Wuhan
Address: 29 Gong Nong Bing Lu, Jiang’an District, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
(Address may not be directly at the temple as the taxi drop me off a slightly different location and I walked in a little before finding the temple.)
10 minutes’ walk from the Todai Jie metro stop.
Tel: +86 27 8290 7553