Temple of Solitary Joy is located at inside west city gate of Ji County, Tianjin City. It is an ancient Buddhist temple enjoying high reputation home and abroad. It was initially built in Tang Dynasty and rebuilt in the 2nd year of Tonghe Regime, Liao Dynasty (984).
It is known for its refined architecture skill in Channel's ancient buildings and has got the reputation of Six Best. These are: The earliest Dingshan Gate (Gate of Withstanding Hill) of the ground hall preserved now; The earliest Chiwei object on the Hill Gate preserved now; The earliest plane distribution which took pavilion as the center on the architecture plane; The biggest clay sculptured statue of Avalokiteavara inside a pavilion in China; The Avalokiteavara is also the most ancient high storeyed one; The more precious fact is that the Temple of Solitary Joy has stood unscathed after thousand years of rain, snow, wind and frost and 28 big attacks, hence the most durable ancient Monastery of thousand years.
Entering the Temple, the first comes to sight is 10 m high gate, on the arch of which there hangs a horizontal inscribed board: Temple of Solitary Joy. The single eaves ground hall roof was the roof building form during the western Tsin (AD265-316) and Southern and Northern Dyansty (420-589) period, which was called Siadading in ancient time and now it is called big roof.
The two-storied wooden pavilion is twenty-three meters high, and so well designed that it has withstood the test of several earthquakes and remains intact to this day. The pavilion contains a standing statue of the Guanyin Bodhisattva with the heads of ten small Buddhas above it. The sixteen-meter-high statue is known as the "Eleven-face Guanyin", one of the largest painted clay sculptures in China. Flanking it are two ferocious and gigantic guardians, which, together with the heavenly guardians inside the gate, are masterpieces of Liao Dynasty sculpture.
On the two ends of the plane ridge, there are inward Chiweis. Chi denoted sparrow hawk in ancient time, which is a kind of fierce bird. The stand base of the gate is comparatively low, but the hall pinnacle is much higher above eaves and the pottery animal figures look sturdy; solemn and sturdy. There is no ceiling inside the pinnacle, therefor the painted beam and purlieus are visible. The whole piece is exquisitely wrought, simple arranged and skillfully done, for which people gasp in administration.
Crossing the gate, one comes to the core building - Avalokitesvara Pavilion, 23m in height. Form outside appearance, it is two storeyed, but inside there is a hidden storey, thus three storeyed in fact. On the eaves corners, pottery unicorns are sculptured, on which little Buddha statues ride. Copper bells are hung under eaves corners, swaying with the wind, a specially refined scene.
The most attractive thing is the structure of Dougong (sets of brackets on top of the columns supporting the beams within and roof eaves without-each set consisting of tiers of outstretching arms called Gong, cushioned with trapezoidal blocks called Dou). It is made of overlapping Dougong shaped wood blocks and bow shaped horizontal wood bars by adopting 24 forms with each layer stretching out as bracket, big in upper part and small in lower part, thinly scattered, steady and sturdy. It makes eaves of the pavilion look like flying, far and deep in the sky, a beautiful and magnificent view.