Located three miles south of Phoenix Mountain (also called Nan Mountain), Guanghua Monastery is a secluded, yet well renowned temple with over 1400 years of history. Constructed in the second year of Emperor Yongding of the Southern Chen Dynasty (A.D. 558), the first master of the monastery was Chan Master Jinxian. The Jinxian Court was later named after him. Thirty-one years later, under the reign of Emperor Kaihuang of the Sui Dynasty (A.D.581-618), the monastery was expanded and the whole monastery was renamed Jinxian Court.
In the second year of the Jingyun reign of Tang Dynasty(A.D.711), the abbot of Jinxian Monastary, Master Zhiyan, conducted a lecture on the Dharmagupta-vinaya in the Palace and then was conferred with the title ¡°Chan Master Congming (Intelligent Chan Master)¡±. Chan Master Zhiyan reported to Emperor Ruizong that water mysteriously sprang out of a stone as Master Wuji chanted the Lotus Sutra, so Emperor Ruizong renamed the magnificent place ¡°Lingyan Monastery (Miraculous Stone Monastery)¡± and commanded a famous calligrapher Liu Gongquan to write down ¡°Ling Yan Monastery¡± on a plaque to be hung above the gate of the Monastery. Then, the Lingyan Monastery became prestigious and was recognized as one of the major monasteries of East Fujian.
Buddhist monasteries enjoyed great prosperity during Song Dynasty in Phoenix Mountain. In the first year of Taiping Xingguo, Song Dynasty, Emperor Guangzong presented a plaque to Guanghua Monastery and renovated the monastery, complete with plentiful pillars, pavilions and spacious buildings.