The Heavenly Peace Palace in Goyang, also known as Lau Tzu temple or Central Great Purity Palace, was the birth place of Lau Tzu, the great thinker, philosopher, founder of Taoist school. The Palace locates in the north of Woyang County, a place with beautiful scene and peaceful environment, in the south of Dragon Mountain(Long Shan) and 1 kilometer north to the Gu River(now called Wujia River).
The Heavenly Peace Palace was built in the eighth year of Yanxi Reign in Later-Han Dynasty(165), when it was called Lau Tzu Temple. The Emperor Huan ordered to build the temple after he dreamed that Lau Tzu descended to his palace. Afterwards, the Palace was re-built in the third year of Huangchu Reign of Wei Dynasty(222) and the first year of Kaihuang Reign of Sui Dynasty(581). During the Tang Dynasty, the royalty clan claimed Lau Tzu as their ancestor, largely due to which, Lau Tzu was ordained different titles by many emperors. The Palace was nominated as “Great Purity Palace”, the temple for ancestral worship of royalty clan. During the Tang Dynasty, the Palace became the most spendid temple with large halls and other fancy constructions, which were similar with the basilica. However, the Palace was suffered from the enduring war during the later Tang period and almost became ruins afterwards. The Palace was re-built in Sung Dynasty, from the seventh year of Dazhong Xiangfu Reign(1014) to the Second year of Tainxi Reign(1018), which was recorded in the epigraph composed by Shen Du, the Master in Hanlin School.
During Tang and Sung period, many emperors made their pilgrimage to the birth place of Lau Tze. In February of the first year of Qianfeng Reign of Tang Dynasty(666), the Gao Emperor visited the Palace in his pilgrimage to Tai Mountain, and ordain Lau Tzu as “Great Chaos Emperor(Taishang Xuanyuan Huangdi)”. In January of the seventh year of Dazhong Xiangfu Reign(1014) of Sung Dynasty, Zhen Emperor made his pilgrimage to the Palace and ordained Lau Tzu as “Great Chaos Emperior of Superior Morality(Taishang Laojun Hunyuan Shangde Huangdi)”, the emperor himself composed the epigraph known as “Preface to the Emperor’s Pilgrimage to Great Purity Palace (Yuzhi Chaoye Taiqinggong Bingxu)”.
At its height of power and splendour during the Tang and Sung period, the Great Purity Palace was of great scale, and was regarded as the biggest temple in the whole country. According to the historical record, the palace covered over 3000 Mu(1 Mu≈625㎡). The height of splendour was endured during the Yuan and Ming period. It was during the later period of Qing Dynasty did the Palace ruined languishingly, there was poet decribed the languishing view as “the Stove for Alchemy is cooling with the dilapidated mead, the Stone Cattle is the only relic of the great Hall of Enquiries on Rites”.
Since 1989, the Palace has been rebuilt after the original site of Lau Tzu’s Birth Place was reconfirmed by scholars from all over the world. Because of which, great Taoist masters, Ma Bingwen, Tan Zhao, and Hou Baohuan, called and rose money for reconstruction of the palace to memorize Lau Tzu and re-build the central temple of Taoism. Re-construction of the Palace strictly follows the views and strcuture of the former Palace at it height during Northern Sung period. The whole palace is divided into central, western, and eastern parts. The central hall was settled in the central point, and the central part also includes halls and buildings as Great Gate, Encountering Immortal Bridge, Spiritual Officer Hall, Lau Tzu Hall, Three Great Purities Hall, Heavenly Master Hall, Master Wang Chongyang Hall, Wealth God Hall, Gods of Sexagesimal Cycle Hall, Great Ancestor Hall, Charity Sailing Devinity Hall, Master Lu Hall, Bell Pavilion, Exhibition Rooms of “Origin of Tao and Sources of De”, as well as Dormitory of Taoist Masters. The Eastern part of the Palace settles Eastern Mountain Devinity Temple, Great Mother Devinity Hall, Meteor Yard, and Nine-dragon Well, while the Halls of Scripture Chanting and Storage settled in the western part of the Palace.
By now, the spirit of Lau Tzu re-emerges, Birth place of Lau Tzu, the Great Palace has recovered its height of power and splendour again.