Wanhua 萬華

Chin Shan Gong Temple

Chin Shan Gong (Monga Castle Palace)
Location: Wanhua District in Taipei, Taiwan, Guiyang Street, No. 218, Section 2

Hours: Sunday to Saturday from 5:30am-9pm
Est’d date: approx. 1853 (160 yrs old)
Time period: colonial period, Qing Dynasty
Religious affiliation(s): Buddhist/Taoist
Type: Taiwanese religious folk temple
Origin of name: Lingan Zunwang (Castle King)

Facts: Tzang Wei Quan, also known as Qing Shan Ling An Zun, was a General who came from a region called Hui’an, a county that is under the jurisdiction of the prefecture-level city of Quanzhou, Fujian, China. The general was well respected and recognized man among the locals of Wanhua because of the many victorious battles he had lead; however he is not an internationally recognized patron or god, but nevertheless, an important man. According to the locals, during the journey of which the statue of the patriarch was carried, it was placed on top of a well in the afternoon for a rest. However, the statue could not be moved when the carrier decided to continue with their journey. This explains the location of the temple. Rumour also spread that smoke once diffused from the well, leading to a passer-by fainting. 

On October 20-22 on the lunar calendar, an elaborate festival in his name is held during these days. On the first day (October 20th), rituals and parading around town is done in the south end of Wanhua. On the second day (October 21st), the rituals and parading moves into the centre town of Wanhua, and lastly, on the third day, the festivities reach the remaining areas of Wanhua. 


On a daily basis, at around 4pm, the caretakers and members of the temple perform rituals and parade around town in traditional costumes, which can be seen inside the temple behind glass cases. Because of its historical importance, it has been deemed one of three national monuments by the Ministry of Interior Affairs in 1985. The temple is said to have an aura that warded off/ eliminated the illnesses like the plague back then, as well as acting as a place that presided over judicial actions-award the good and punish the evil. Like many other temples in the Wanhua, the architectural elements of this temple does not fall short of any grandeur, with its hand painted and wood-carved detail which can be seen throughout the interior of the temple, and on the tops of its roof, which is laden with beautifully carved dragon pieces made from wood. 


This temple has three stories worth of memorizing historical architectural work, and each level of the temple is devoted to specific individuals. The first level is devoted to General Chin Shan Gong, the second level is devoted to his wife, and the third level is devoted to the Jade Emperor. The exterior of the temple is mostly built from a dark slate coloured stone, which gives this temple quite the olden look.

Fun Fact 1: If you look on the inside of the entrance door’s panels, you will see both panels painted in the image of the Castle King, and if you stare into his eyes long enough and walk in either direction…the eyes will appear to follow you around the room!
Fun Fact 2: This temple was said to have stopped the SARS epidemic from reaching and taking over the area.
Fun Fact 3: The trigram as seen in the picture below, is almost extinct today. The trigram is special as it does not involve the utilisation of any nails, but depends merely on wooden wedge. 

Fun Fact 4: The most expensive part of the entire temple's architecture is known as "Jiao Zi Tou".