Tianhou Temple (Anping)

Coordinates: 23°00′02″N 120°09′39″E / 23.0006°N 120.1607°E / 23.0006; 120.1607
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Tianhou Temple
Traditional Chinese天后宮
Simplified Chinese天后宫
Literal meaningHeavenly Empress Palace
Kaitai Tianhou Temple
Traditional Chinese開臺天后
Simplified Chinese开台天后

The Tianhou Temple,[1] also known as the Kaitai Tianhou[2] or Mazu Temple,[3] is a temple to the Chinese Goddess Mazu, who is the Goddess of Sea and Patron Deity of fishermen, sailors and any occupations related to sea/ocean. The temple is located in the Anping District of Tainan on Taiwan.

It is open to the public from 4:30 am to 10 pm 7 days a week.[1]


The temple was erected at the Anping Ferry in 1668, on the site that is now occupied by Anping District's Shih-Men Primary School.[4] Erected soon after Koxinga's successful invasion of Dutch Taiwan in the name of the Southern Ming resistance to the Qing Empire,[1] it is thought to be the oldest extant Mazu temple on Taiwan Island.[1] It housed statues of the Deities brought by Koxinga from Meizhou off the Fujian coast, the site of Mazuism's chief temple.[3] The chief idol of Mazu is soft-bodied, with jointed feet, hands, and fingers and bound feet.[3] It holds a fan in its right hand and a handkerchief in its left.[3] It has tablets from the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing (c. 1880) and from presidents Li Denghui and Chen Shuibian of the Republic of China.[3] It was demolished by the Japanese[5] and has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1976[5] and 1994.[2]


The primary statue is said to be more than a thousand years old.[5] It is sometimes said to have been one of three personally brought to Taiwan by Koxinga,[2] although the temple itself claims that a "Cheng Cheng-kung" brought it to Taiwan years earlier in 1661.[4] Mazu is credited with various miracles around the temple, including appearing to lead Anping's initial settlers,[4] protecting it from bombing during World War II, producing miraculous sweat, and protecting her statue during the temple's 1990 fire disaster.[3]



  1. ^ a b c d "Anping Tianhou Taoist Temple", Official site, Tainan: Tourism Bureau of the Tainan City Government, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Keeling, Stephen (2013), "Anping Fort and Around", The Rough Guide to Taiwan, Rough Guides, ISBN 9781409350613.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Kaitai Mazu Temple", Official site, Tainan: Anping District Office, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "History", Official site, Tainan: Tainan Anping Kaitai Tianhou Gong, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Crook, Steven (2014), "Kaitai Tianhou Temple", Taiwan, 2nd ed., Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides, ISBN 9781841624976.

External links[edit]

23°00′02″N 120°09′39″E / 23.0006°N 120.1607°E / 23.0006; 120.1607