Taiwan Prefecture City God Temple
The history of Tainan City God Temple 歷史沿革
Tainan City God Temple, or Taiwan Prefecture City God Temple (“Chenghuang”), the earliest official temple dedicated to the City God, was reportedly built in 1669. It is now listed as a Class-II National Historic Site due to its historic, cultural and religious significance to the community. The worship of a tutelary, or guardian deity of a town's walls and moats characterizes the cult of the Chenghuang(城隍). The deity is in charge of a range of public concerns, such as the need for seasonal rain to ensure crop productions; it also oversees personal requests, including the recovery from illness, even providing assistance with proof of innocence to those who feel wrongfully accused.
The City Gods are generally deified deceased officials from the town, who serve in authority over the souls of the departed from the community, and intervene in the affairs of the living, in conjunction with other officials of the hierarchy of divine beings. In folk beliefs, newly elected magistrates must pay homage to Chenghuang before the inauguration. On the other hand, The City God Temple represents the function of a government office, where the City God, a spiritual mayor known as Weling Gong (Duke Weiling)(威靈公) is charged with protecting his city and purging the land of evils. In traditional Chinese society, the combination of the present judicial system and afterlife judicial system inspires people to believe that human affairs are well governed.
With the religiously inspired relics and statues, and its folk relation to the afterlife, the temple can be equal-parts unsettling and mesmerizing: its premises are perpetually cool, even on the hottest days. If you are currently plagued by concerns that you feel could be justly refereed by the City God, stop by and pay him a visit!
No.133, Qingnian Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan City 700, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
06 224 0922