Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Longshan Temple in Taipei

Longshan Temple was founded in 1738 and is just one or two stops away from Ximenting. I had a morning free on my own and went to this temple that is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy. The temple was rebuilt in 1919, the completion date was in 1924 and it was bombed during the war. The miraculous fact was that though the main prayer hall of the temple was destroyed by the bombs, the statue of the Goddess of Mercy was untouched.

Compared with other temples that I have seen, the roof of the Longshan temple is less elaborately decorated, with dragons and phoenixes being the predominant motifs. However, the interior of the temple is embellished with beautiful carvings with exceptional bronze pillars, the only ones in Taiwan.

This is the cleaning pool. I guess you have to metaphorically cleanse your mind and body before entering the main hall to pray.

Old ladies set around the temple on stools or steps to say prayers with their prayer beads.

This is the entrance to the main hall where the Goddess of Mercy is.

On either side of the main prayer hall are two towers - the drum tower on the left and the bell tower on the right. Incidentally I learned from our guide that when you enter a temple, you do so on its left side and exit on its right.
The unique bronze pillars at the entrance into the courtyard of the main hall.

The drum tower.

The MRT line with the station in front of Longshan Temple.
The male lion guarding the entrance to the temple from the MRT station.

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