Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao), Shanghai

A popular stop for local residents, the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang miao) in Shanghai is filled with statues of local gods and spirits that bring good fortune.

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History of the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao)

When this temple was first built in 1403 under Ming Emperor Yongle (1403-25), it was dedicated to the legendary Han general Huo Guang as well as the guardian city god, Qin Yubo. Qin Yubo was a righteous scholar who refused to get involved in court politics (then rife with corruption) despite much pleading from the emperor. Deified upon his death in 1377, Qin Yubo now watches over and protects the city of Shanghai.

The temple had become more of a marketplace by the time of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), when it was mostly destroyed. Both the temple and surrounding market were thoroughly restored in the early 1990s.

What to See at the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao)

The present version of the Chenghuang miao has been much restored since its 15th-century origins, but still retains its historic and authentic feel. There is still a statue of General Huo Guang in the front hall and Qin Yubo in the back hall, with many other deities represented as well.

Many Shanghai residents frequent the temple to offer incense before their favorite local god, hoping for good fortune in return. The temple is staffed by what the Blue Guide China calls "bad-tempered monks [who] are clearly more interested in collecting money from local people willing to pay to have the gods solve their problems than entertain foreign visitors."

The Temple of the Town God is surrounded by the reconstructed shops and restaurants of the "traditional" market, as well as the beautiful Yu Yuan (Garden of Content), created in the 16th century.

Quick Facts on the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao)

Site Information
Names:Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao)
Country:China
Categories:temples
Styles:Ming Dynasty
Dedication: Town God
Dates:1403 (restored)
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:31.221484° N, 121.483721° E
Address:Fangbang Zhong Lu 249
Shanghai, China
Phone:021/6386-5700
Hours:Daily 8:30am-4:30pm
Lodging:View hotels near the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao)
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Frances Wood, Blue Guide China, 2nd ed. (New York: WW Norton, 2001), 268.
  2. City God Temple - Asian Historical Architecture
  3. Chenghuang Miao (Temple of the Town God) - Frommer's Shanghai

More Information

© dm1795
© dm1795
© Wolfgang Staudt

Map of the Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao), Shanghai

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