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

Temple Of The Lord Of The North Pole

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Squeezed between shops and lacking the drum and bell towers common in major shrines, the Temple of the Lord of the North Pole (北極殿, aka Beiji Temple) is devoted to a god considered a guardian of the Ming Dynasty, and thus worshiped by the Kingdom of Dongning’s leadership. The Lord of the North Pole continues to receive offerings from local people because he's considered a patron saint of butchers, sailors and children. He's also said to protect his followers against fire.

A herbal medicine store stood here during the VOC period. In 1665, after the Dutch were defeated by Koxinga, this temple was established on the site. The most famous feature is inside and right above the main altar - a four-character inscribed board conferred on the temple in 1669 by the pretender to the Ming throne. It reads wei-ling-he-yi (威靈赫奕), meaning "great spirits are bright." It’s the only Ming-era plaque in Taiwan; the information board out front explains the meaning in more detail.

Lane 83, to the left of the temple, isn't the narrowest alley in Tainan, but a man standing in a house on one side could open his window and easily shake hands with a neighbor standing in his own house across the way. If you head down this lane and turn right, you'll very soon come to the Altar of Heaven, a temple built on the spot where Koxinga is said to have prayed to the Jade Emperor.


Walk along Zhongshan Road, away from Tainan TRA Station, until you come to the intersection with Minquan Road. Turn right and keep going to the next intersection; you'll see the temple across the road, on the left.

Type of place: Monument/Building
Costs: free
Location: Taiwan
Street address: 89, Minquan Road Section 2, West Central District, Tainan City
Nearest public transport: Tainan TRA Station
Opening hours: Daily 6am-9pm
Telephone: +88662268875

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