Dec 22, 2008


Freshman English 〈advanced〉
國文系101級 497204017 黃書郁 Carol
If I were a tour guide, I would include a temple in the trip. I think visiting a temple is the best way to understand Chinese architecture, religion, history, virtue, and “feng shui”(風水). Therefore, I would like to introduce the Long-ShanTemple. It is located in Wan-Hua. You can take the MRT and get off at Long-ShanTemple station. It was built in 1738, so it is an important historic monument protected by the government.
The Long-ShanTemple has three characteristics. First, there are many gods. There are more than one hundred gods inside the temple. The most famous god is the Wen-ch'ang Ti-chun. It is in charge of education. When the season for students to take entrance exams of senior high schools or universities approach, examinees pour into the Temple to buy amulets at the service counter and worship for the Wen-ch'ang Ti-chun, hoping that they will get good grades.
Second, there are seventy couplets and thirty poems. Through these couplets and poems, we can appreciate the beauty of calligraphy and the Chinese traditional literature. In the middle door, there is a couplet written by Kang Yu-wei, who was an important political reformer in the last years in the Ching dynasty. This couplet expresses the main purpose of the religion, which is to inspire everyone.
Third, the building is magnificent. When we enter the gateway, we can see a waterfall at the right hand. Its name is Jing-Xin which means purifying mind.
There are three palace halls in Long-ShanTemple: front palace, main palace, and back palace. The width is about eleven bays. Bay means space between two pillars. Five bays in the middle are main entries and other three bays are on both bays. If you have a bird’s eye view of the temple, it looks like the Chinese character “回”. The arch door and gables of roofs are of western style, which reflects the communication between China and west countries in the last years of the Ching dynasty. The main palace is one of the biggest palaces in Taiwan. It has twelve pillars. There is no door leaf in the main palace. It faces the atrium straightly, so it doesn’t give people a gruesome feeling. There is an octagon ceiling under the roof, like a spider web. It is only used in honorable buildings. There are bell towers in front of the front palace. They are hexagon towers. The most special thing is a roof that looks like the top of a sedan chair. The style of the back palace is still of the Ching dynasty. It hosts many gods that protect childbirth, so it is special and important. In addition, sculptures are also impressive. Craftsmen used many kinds of skills. There are many colorful sculptures decorating roofs, like dragons, phoenixs, peacocks, and cranes. You can also understand the traditional virtue which Chinese have followed for thousands of years from historical stories carved on walls.
In conclusion, I think that the Long-Shan Temple is one of the most important cultural legacies in Taiwan, so it is worth visiting. The temple is equipped with the historical site illustration service. Service attendants are available to give free guides to visitors o on every Saturday afternoon and Sunday all day.

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