Tianhou Temple at Cihou

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■ Introduction
  • Type:City-Designated Historic Site
  • District:Cijin District
  • Name:Tianhou Temple at Cihou
  • Year of the Establishment:1935
  • Announcement Num:74臺內民字第357272號
  • Announcement Date:1985/11/27
  • Address:No. 93, Miaocian Rd., Cijin District, Kaohsiung City
  • Established by:Planned and built by Taiwan Migrant Disciples and Fishermen
  • Administered by:Cijin District
  • Contact Number of the Bureau:
  • Coverage Area:Lot No. 141, 143, 144, 145, and 146 covering 598 m2, Cigang Section in Cijin District
  • Reasons for being listed as a cultural heritage site:This Tianhou Temple is the earliest one established in the Kaohsiung area. Its floor plan adopts the design of a double-hall and double-wing. The front hall and the main hall are connected by a pagoda. The stone lions at the center gate are elegant and beautiful and are carved from high quality stone. In particular, the granite flowers and birds at the bottom of the corridor wall are life-like in a simple way.
    The vivid wood carvings of historic figures and Cilin on the wood doors are also invaluable masterpieces of folk arts.
■ Touring Cultural Heritage
  • .History

    Tianhou Temple at Cihou, the oldest temple in Kaohsiung City, was established in 1673. A fisherman named Hsu, Au-hua ran into a typhoon and drifted to Cihou. He found this place to be ideal for fishing and to settle. He returned to his hometown and invited fellow fishermen to migrate with their families to Cihou. When they arrived, they also brought the statue of Meijhou Mazy to Taiwan. They started a fund-raising campaign and were able to build a temple for Mazu for her blessing.
    When Shih Lang conquered Taiwan for the Qing Dynasty in the 22nd year of the reign of Emperor Kangsi (1683), he did not want the Emperor to be jealous of his achievement; therefore he claimed that all of the credits for the successful campaign belonged to Mazu and recommended that the royal court officially promote and recognize Mazu. The Qing administration promoted Mazu as Tianhou (Heavenly Mother) in the 2nd year of the reign of Emperor Cianlong (1737), and the Mazu Temple at Cihou was soon renamed the Tianhou Temple. The Temple was renamed again in 1946 and was called the Tianhou Temple at Cijin.
    As the Cihou population increased, Hsu, Au-hua convened a meeting among the six families of Hung, Wang, Cai, Li, Bai, and Pan to measure the Temple’s land. They reconfirmed the ownership of the Temple in a written agreement as a preventive measure against possible threats and disputes arising from the Temple’s property. Since then, the Mazu Temple has been the center of development in Cihou and was the first commercial center in Kaohsiung City.
    In the 18th Century (years of Emperor Cianlong), local residents raised funds to rebuild the grass and bamboo Temple and turned it into a stone-built temple. In 1887 a foreign company, Jhang Yi Ji, launched another rebuilding campaign. In 1926, a disciple, Cai, Ji-liou, initiated a rebuilding. In 1948, Cai, Wun-bin and other disciples raised funds to preserve the Temple’s authentic, classic look, with the result that the temple was as it is today.
    . Its floor plan adopts the design of a double-hall and double-wing. The front hall and the main hall are connected by a pagoda. The stone lions at the center gate are elegant and beautiful and are carved from high quality stone. In particular, the granite flowers and birds at the bottom of the corridor wall are life-like in a simple way.
    The vivid wood carvings of historic figures and Cilin on the wood doors are also invaluable masterpieces of folk arts. The courtyard to the side of the Temple has a bell cast in the 12th year of the reign of Emperor Guangsyu (1886) and a pair of inscribed wooden boards made in the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Guangsyu (1892) that read: “Shine on Cishan’s Peak, frequent travel across the ocean.” In the left wing there is a Wangye boat on display. In this Temple shows the features of a seaside temple are pervasive.

  • .Condition

    Meijhou Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea is the patron saint of Tianhou Temple, which is now managed by the administration committee of Tianhou Temple. Fishermen believe that the temple safeguards their lives. The temple is open for the public.

  • .Building Materials

    Ancestral temple made of wooden beams

  • .Architectural Style

    The Temple adopts a traditional H-type floor plan of double-hall and double-wing, a typical form of a government agency’s building.
    The Tianhou Temple’s complex consists of a building, including a triple-gate hall, worship hall, main hall, and the two wings, and spaces, including the dragon courtyard and the tiger courtyard. The triple gate hall’s roof adopts the design of triple-ridge of “hard ridge” style; the ridge curves up and ends with the style of a swallow tail and curling patterns of grass. Riding on the ridge are three mosaic figures depicting: luck, wealth, and long life, which are guarded by two dragons on either side.
    The header of the vertical ridge has mosaic figures from stories of virtue. The dragon column under the eave has colored paintings of the torso of a dragon and dragon rider. The base of the column is decorated with the pattern of the lotus and polyhedrons.

■ Other Info
google map
  • ‧Open:Yes
  • ‧Hours:Monday through Sunday 06:00~22:00
  • ‧Suggested Stay time:
  • ‧Fee info:
    • Fee:No
    • Fee Information:

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