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The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

BY :Yuan

UPDATED :April 19, 2019

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羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

The Temple of the Five Immortals, also known as the Wuxian Guan by locals, is a Taoist temple in Yuexiu district of Guangzhou city.

Legend has it that there were five immortals flying to Guangzhou, riding five colored sheep and bearing the five grains. The immortals' clothes and the sheep were now both said to be in different colors, connecting them with the Five Chinese Elements.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

 

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

The immortals introduced rice farming to Guangzhou around the time of the city's founding over 2,000 years ago.

The five goats they rode to the area were said to have turned to stone when they left, forming the statues which gave Guangzhou its nickname "Goat City" or "City of the Five Rams".

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

Later the five momortals became Guangzhou's culture heroes and were worshipped as protectors of the yearly harvest by locals. In order to commemorate the five immortals, a temple was first attested during the early Song dynasty.

The present temple, lying beside the junction of Huifu Xi Lu and Liuron, was erected in the 10th year of the Hongwu Era (1377) in Ming dynasty.

The temple reached its peak during Ming and Qing dynasties, covering a large area and with magnificent buildings.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

But it is a pity that only a small part of them remain in the temple now, including the etiquette door, the huge bell tower, and a back hall.

Two guardian lions standing at the entrance of the door are centuries- old and are very valuble historical relics well-preserved in the temple.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

A histocial site stands behind the etiquette door, and after that sits the back hall, with three rooms.

The whole back hall features the building style of Ming dynasty, as well as strong local characteristics.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

 

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

 

It is also well worth mentioning that there is a pond to the east of the hall with a very large foot-shaped depression in red sandstone. The foot-shaped pond is said to be the mark left by one of the immortals.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

In fact, the pond used to be a ferry and it bacame what it looks today due to years of erosion and impact of the Pearl River.

The site was listed as one of the Eight Sights of Guanghou during Ming and Qing dynasties.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

Inside the temple there is a miniature landscape depicting the prosperity of the ancient ferry in Tang dynasty, which also proves that Guangzhou city, as one of the major departure ports along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, took shape and thrived on foreign trade back then.

羊城祖庙,非五仙观莫属!The Temple of the Five Immortals in Guangzhou

In June, 1989, the Temple of the Five Immortals was listed as cultural heritage under provincial protection.

Admission: Free

Address: No. 233, Huifu Xi Lu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou

Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)

Source: WeChat(丝路云帆)

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