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Temple of the Queen of Heaven (Tianhou Gong)

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Article from Qingdao Municipal Commission of Tourism

Tianhou Temple in Qingdao was built in 1467 in Ming dynasty, dating back over 500 years of history. Tianhou Temple is the oldest collection of brick buildings in Ming and Qing dynasty in Qingdao. When it was built 500 years ago, Tianhou Temple was composed of three Mazu Shrines and two Dragon King Shrines. Tianhou Temple was maintained and expanded seven times through the history of Ming dynasty, Qing dynasty, and the Republic of China. In 1996, the Qingdao Municipal Government supported its full restoration, and turned Tianhou Temple into Qingdao Folk Museum. On December 26th, 1998, Tianhou Temple was officially opened to the public.

Tianhou Temple, covering an area of nearly 4000 sq.m., of which the building area is 1500 sq.m,was built as two traditional Chinese courtyards. Tianhou Temple forms a landscape of a cluster of 16 ancient buildings typical of the national style, with over 80 rooms, namely, main halls, side halls, two wing-rooms front and back, theatrical stages, bell and drum towers, and accessory buildings. Except theatrical stages roofed with glazed tiles, other buildings are of drywall, roofed with little gray tiles, and are decorated with Suzhou colored drawings or patterns on beams and rafters resplendently illuminating. Among all ancient building groups in Qingdao, its art of building and colored drawings is second to none.

On the beams of Tianhou Temple are painted cloth-wrapper-like paintings of Twelve Girls from Jinling (the former name of today’s Nanjing) and other characters in A Dream of Red Mansions and “Jade Flute Playing Girl to Attract the Phoenix” in the Spring and Autumn tale, and Dunhuang Flying Apsaras, to name but a few. Qingdao Tianhou Temple is a famous cultural landscape clustering Mazu, marine and folk culture in one, a two-star level tourist attraction by the National Tourism Administration, and a historic site protected at the provincial level.

Inside Tianhou Temple are built the Matsu Shrine, the Dragon King Shrine, the God of Wealth Shrine, and statues of God of 60 Jiazi and many other Gods. Besides, series of folk culture activities of the public are held, including Mazu Culture exhibition with folk culture collections, folk arts and crafts production performing and skills imparting, folk customs photographing. In Tianhou Temple, old trees are grown into a pleasant shade, and green grass a thick blanket, which seems typically an organic integration of temples and gardens. Theatrical stages are flanked by bell and drum towers, in the forecourt are four strains of Holly, two of them against the wall French Holly, and the other two on each side of the flower-bed local.

Quick Facts on Temple of the Queen of Heaven (Tianhou Gong)

Name: Temple of the Queen of Heaven (Tianhou Gong)
Location: No.26 Qingyu Road, Qingdao
Dates: Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644)
Phone: +86-0532-82880728
Best Time to Visit: June to August
Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 Hour
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Admission Fee: Free

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