Lying in the southwest corner of Datong City, Huayan Temple is the largest and most perfectly preserved temple of the Liao (907-1125) and Jin (1115-1234) dynasties. It was built in 1062 to house stone or bronze statues of emperors. The temple was partly destroyed in the war at the end of the Liao Dynasty, and was rebuilt in the 1140 during the Jin Dynasty. It was again rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
In the time of mid-Ming, the temple was divided into two: the Upper Huayan and Lower Huayan. The two parts were merged into one in 1963, and occupies an area of more than 16,600 sq m. What makes the temple well-known are the Buddhist scripture and painted Buddhist sculptures kept in the lower temple.