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taiwan chinatownologyTainan Guan Gong temple
祀典武廟

The Tainan Guan Gong temple is one of the very few institutions tracing and dating its history to the Southern Ming dynasty. The temple came into being in 1665 when descendants of Zheng Cheng Gong, 郑成功, developed Taiwan as a base to restore the Ming dynasty.

The temple was dedicated to Guan Gong the god of war and literature and at the rear courtyard is a sculpture of Buddhist bodhisattva Guan Yin.

A piece of Southern Ming history

This guan gong temple is also closely intertwined with the Southern Ming King Ning Jing, 宁靖王, who was the Ming figure head in Tainan. The Guan Gong sculpture was brought to Tainan by the king’s family, he was the first of many to offer a plaque to the temple and was said to have planted a plum tree behind the guan yin court yard.

Taiwan was eventually captured by the Manchus leading to the suicide of Ming king Nanjing and his five concubines.

Perhaps considering Tainan’s sensitive history, subsequently Qing emperors showered special attention to the temple by presenting plagues and conferring special status to the temple. The locals meanwhile, finance its subsequent expansion.

Tainan Guan Gong temple today

Today, the Tainan Guan Gong temple is a first class national monument in Taiwan.

Being a 300 year old temple, devotee’s needs have of course changed since its founding. The temple has responded to them and today, 5 gods of literature offer their blessings to students before major examinations.

Devotees in search of love pray to Yue Lao, 月老, to help find their life partner. The temple supports traditional arts by inviting Chinese opera troupes to perform every Monday and Saturday.

Architect and conservation experts visit to study its traditional architectural styles. Last but not least, it is also a tourist site and an important one in Tainan.

Yet some things never change. For the last few centuries, the plum tree planted by king Nanjin was a meeting point for poets and artistes gathering to compose poetry, appreciate music or to drink. These literati continue to gather at the plum tree.

Whatever your interest, you are bound to find something of interest.

 

 

tainan gouan gong templeTainan Guan Gong temple
祀典武廟

Address:
No 229 Yong Fu road, Tainan City
Taiwan (R.O.C)
臺南市中西區永福路2段229號

Related articles:
taiwan chinatownologyTaiwan
Guan Gong
Stories from the Ming dynasty

ying yangTaoism Main page

ying yangTaoist Pantheon

 

 

 

tainan guan gong temple
tainan gouan gong temple
tainan guan gong temple
Main hall of temple
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tainan guan gong temple guan yin hall
Guan Yin hall
yue lao temple
Entrance to a Yue Lao temple
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tainan guan gong temple

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