Archaeologists working at the Grand Shangqing Temple excavation site near Longhu Mountain, East China's Jiangxi Province announced on Sunday that the remains of the major palaces unearthed at the site may have close connections to Beijing's Forbidden City, the former imperial residence.
After three years of excavation since the site was discovered in 2014, experts have explored some 50,000 square meters so far, uncovering remains of the temple's walls, a Xinhua News Agency report said on Sunday.
Remains show that the layout of the major palaces located among the site's core areas is highly similar to that of the Forbidden City's Palace of Heavenly Purity and Palace of Earthly Tranquility, according to the Xinhua report.
Half the size of the Forbidden City and with a layout similar to the royal palaces, the Grand Shangqing Temple was one of the largest and most important Taoist temples in China.
Rebuilt during the reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Yongzheng Emperor, the Grand Shangqing Temple seated in Shangqing town near Longhu Mountain - long considered the birthplace of the Taoist Zhengyi Dao sect - was a key worship hall for Taoist followers but was destroyed in a fire in 1930.
A number of fragments from ceramic wares and architecture from the Song (960-1279) to Qing dynasties were also unearthed at the site.