Discover Longshan Temple - Taipei
For travelers who love visiting temples, traditional Chinese temple architecture, or who want a touch of local color, Trip Guru suggests a visit to the Taiwan's most famous temple, Longshan Temple. Founded in 1738 by immigrants from Fujian, Longshan Temple (also spelled as Lungshan) is dedicated to the bodhistava of mercy, Guanyin (Kuan-in). During its long history, the temple has also served as a meeting place for Chinese settlers and has been improved and rebuilt many times.
Longshan Temple is one of the largest and oldest temples in Taiwan. The temple consists of three halls, each of them laden with exquisite carved stonework and ornate decorations. The somber, yet pleasing dark hues of the walls contrasting beautifully with the colorful roof topped with dragons. Just past the central door are a pair of magnificent bronze dragon columns - the only bronze columns in Taiwan. Between the fore and main halls are two towers, the bell tower on the east and the drum tower on the west. In the center of the main hall, the statue of Kuan-in is enshrined, accompanied by Manjusri and Samantabhadra. The statue of Kuan-in had survived a fire that destroyed the main hall and part of the right annex when the temple was bombed by Allied aircraft during the Second World War. When the area became a major port and prospered, the rear hall was added by the merchant guild "Chuan Chiao" to enshrine Matzu, the patron goddess of seafarers. Other deities were later enshrined in the rear hall when the government had to build new streets and had to demolish some temples.
Travelers are reminded that Longshan Temple is an active place of worship and that most visitors to the temple are there to pray. It can get very crowded and travelers are advised to be as discreet as possible and not to get in the way of the worshippers. Access to the temple is free but donations for the temple's upkeep are accepted.
To get to Longshan Temple, take the MRT Blue (Bannan) Line to Longshan Temple station. The temple is open from 6:00AM to 10:00PM. If visiting at night, the vibrant Guangzhou Night Market and Huaxi Night Market are nearby to the west of the temple.