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The temple's main icon of Guan Gong. (RM)  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Taiwan > Sights & Attractions

Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple

  
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The Sacrificial Rites Martial Temple (祀典武廟) is where, throughout the Qing Dynasty, senior mandarins participated in rituals honoring Guan Gong. For this reason, it's name is often translated as the Official God of War Temple. Another alternative English name, Temple of Guangong for Official Ritual, appears on the information board out front. It's a sublime place; if you're in Tainan for just a few hours, make sure this shrine is on your itinerary.

The temple's unusual L-shaped layout resulted from Prince Ning Jing's decision in 1674 to surrender part of his palace so it could be converted into a temple; he continued to live in that portion which became the Great Queen of Heaven Temple.

Entering from the south, you'll have to step over an unusually high threshold (designed, it's said, to stop women from setting foot inside) in order to reach the main chamber where Guan Gong is venerated. Turning left, you'll find a timeworn stand-alone structure that is a shrine to Guanyin. The bookshelves here are filled with Buddhist literature which worshipers are encouraged to take away and study; you're unlikely to find anything in English, however. On the left of the Guanyin Pavilion, a side chamber is where students seek Wenchang Dijun's blessing ahead of important examinations. If you come here just before one of the islandwide tests used to determine who enters Taiwan's best universities, you'll find the external bulletin board and interior walls plastered with identical forms, each filled in by a student (or his or her parents) hoping for divine assistance.

Continue through to the very back of the complex to see a deep trench where turtles climb atop each other, and a gnarled plum tree that possibly dates from the Kingdom of Dongning.

Directions

Coming from Tainan TRA Station, take city bus no. 3 or tourist buses nos. 88 or 99 to the Fort Provintia bus stop. You'll see the side wall and rear of the temple on your right, across the road.

Type: Monument/Building
Costs: free
Location: Taiwan
Street address: 229, Yongfu Road Section 2, West Central District, Tainan city
Nearest public transport: Fort Provintia bus stop
Opening hours: Daily 7am-9pm
Telephone: +886622944401







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