Chenghuang Temple- Temple of the City God
No.133, Cingnian Road, West Central District, Tainan City.【Brief Introduction】
Chenghuang is the legendary deity who protected the city moat and walls. 【History】
The Chenghuang Temple was built in 1669, to the right of the County Department of Dongan District. Called the Cheng Tianfu Temple of Taiwan during the Jheng Period, it was the earliest Chenghuang Temple built by officials. In 1693, the name was changed to its current name and it presents the earliest record of renovation literature. According to the drawing of Jiang Yuan-shu’s 1778 ''Illustrated Records of Renovations of Constructions in Taiwan'', the temple construction is composed of four halls and two side wings.【Features】
The Chenghuang Temple we see today, sitting in the North and facing South, has undergone several reconstructions. There was originally a spacious compound in front of the temple, which was designated as public road usage during city planning under the Japanese occupation. In 1982, Cingnian road was widened to a 15-meter road, causing it to come in close proximity to the temple. Upon entry from the central gate, there is an inscription board overhead, one of the three most famous ones in Tainan, with the words ''Er is here'', symbolising the authoritative status of the City God. Entering from the main gate, there is an immense abacus hung overhead on the beam high above with the aim of telling commoners right from wrong, manifesting justice, and abandoning evil deeds and adopting the good.
Though the Chenghuang Temple carries a gloomy atmosphere with it, its murkiness is impressive. Both left and right sides of the temple are sealed and the depth of the temple is extensive, unlike the bright atmosphere provided by many of its counterparts. In fact, its dim and somber nature is so potent that even in the daytime, its murkiness is clearly present.
--Source: Travel Information from the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Tainan City Govern-ment website.