Taiwan’s Most Historic Temple

The facade of Lukang Longshan Temple, the most well-preserved historic site in Taiwan.

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Lukang Lungshan (Longshan) Temple, located in Changhua County, is a meticulously preserved cultural site perfect for admirers of intricate and heritage architecture. Built in 1786 and renovated in 2008, Lukang Longshan Temple is known as the most well-preserved historic site in Taiwan. This classic temple, which primarily worships Guanyin, features stone sculptures, woodcarving, hand-painting, and ridge cresting. It is recognized as one of the most beautiful temples in Taiwan.

Don’t be frightened if upon setting foot in the temple you sense you are under a watchful gaze. This is the result of legendary muralist Guo Xin-Lin’s “lock-eye” technique. Regardless of where you stand, the divine guardians from the temple’s many murals will always appear to be solemnly looking you straight in the eyes.

The dragon is a symbol of good fortune in Taiwanese folklore. Both the front and main gates feature skillfully sculpted dragons as part of the necessary structural support. A closer look will reveal the dynamic design of hollowed out dragon claws.

Looking into the geometrical patterns of the the pavilion's spider web (caisson) ceiling.
The pavilion’s spider web (caisson) ceiling is the oldest one of its kind in Taiwan.

As you explore further inside the pavilion, make sure to look up and appreciate the spider web ceiling, often referred to as an “auspicious web”. It’s the oldest one preserved in Taiwan! This sophisticated structural element is built using 16 sets of interlocking wood brackets, or “dougung“, and does not require any nails. This structure transfers the weight of the roof to the supporting columns and is the most labor-consuming technique in the construction process. When you look up, you will find a charming flying dragon right in the middle of the ceiling. Its watchful eyes protect you from harm while it blesses and welcomes your visit.

For more interesting cultural experiences in Changhua, plan to check out Wuan Chuang Soy Sauce Factory to understand how this legendary and healthy condiment is made.

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