15 Maret 2012

Tianhou Temple (Tianhou Gong) – Explore Tianjin's Ancient Culture Street

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Tianhou Temple, also known as Tianhou Gong, is one of the oldest Tianhou temples in China. The temple faces the Hai River, which is one of the city's main arteries. The temple is dedicated to Tianhou, more popularly called Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. Mazu is also the patron Goddess of fishermen, and the temple was once frequented by fishermen who came to worship and give offerings to the deity. The temple was built in 1326 by the Yuan Dynasty and was originally named Tianfei Temple (meaning Princess of Heaven Temple). Subsequent dynasties made changes to the temple and its name. Tianhou Temple was converted into a museum dedicated to the culture and folklore of Tianjin in 1986. Opening hours are between 9 am and 4.30 pm daily.

The temple is located on Gu Wen hua Jie (called Ancient Culture Street in English), Tianjin, and a small entrance fee is charged from visitors. Ancient Culture Street was created to reflect life in ancient China. Many of the buildings here echo the distinctive and colourful architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The entrance is marked by a grand arch, and visitors are allowed to enter for free. The street is usually buzzing with activity, especially during certain holidays when outdoor operas are staged. The market place here is very popular, and is open throughout the day. Other notable sites along the street include the Qingzhen Si (Great Mosque), the Confucius Temple (Wen Miao), the Xikai Jiaotong (Catholic Church) and the Dabeiyuan Monastery.

Tianjin has had a long and colourful history. It once flourished as an imperial sea port, and visitors will find many remnants from that glorious era. While much of the city's architecture is distinctively Chinese, Tianjin still bears traces of its annexation by several European countries. The western influence can be seen in the thousands of little villas that populate the countryside.

Foreigners visiting China should not pass up the chance to see Tianjin. The city is now a bustling tourist spot and visitors will not be disappointed by the choice of Tianjin accommodation and transport available. Those looking for a Tianjin apartment can try the Somerset Youyi Tianjin.