Lama Temple Beijing (Yonghegong) is situated in the northeast part of Beijing city. It was built in 1694 and was originally used as official residence for court eunuchs during the Ming Dynasty and was converted to the palatial residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was just a prince in 1694. In 1723, Emperor Yongzheng contributed half of the grounds to the Tibetan monks of the Yellow (Geluk) sect and left the other half as his temporary palace residence. The Buddhist buildings in this peaceful complex are topped with ornately decorated, yellow roofs. Yellow was the imperial color of that time, which denotes the high status of this temple, a scaled-down imperial palace.
During the 9th year of Emperor Qian Long’s reign (1744), it was converted into a lamasery and became a residence for large numbers of monks from Mongolia and Tibet.This is a kind of friendly policy that the Qing dynasty deal with the relation with Mongolia and Tibet. Then the cluster of buildings in the temple, including halls, pavilions and towers, is a harmonious blend of traditional Han, Tibetan, Manchu and Mongolian features.
The Yonghegong Lamasery can be said a treasure house of relics. It is indeed an epitome of the religious art of China. Yonghegong is said to have survived the Cultural Revolution due to the intervention of prime minister Zhou Enlai. It was listed by the State Council in 1961 as one of the historical sites under state protection. YongHeGong was opened to the public in 1981.