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Da Tian Hou Temple

Explore incensed halls and appreciate the history of this 17th-century temple, with altars dedicated to Matsu, Taiwan’s God Mother. 

Admire the resplendent altars and grand architecture of Da Tian Hou Temple, Taiwan’s first official Matsu shrine. This stunning Ming dynasty relic holds many stories within its walls. Take a tour to learn about Taiwan’s gods and the lives of the royal tenants who stayed here over the ages.

The temple was initially built to be a palatial residence for Emperor Zhu Shugui. In order to soothe tensions after the Qing dynasty’s occupation of Taiwan in the 17th century, the palace was converted to a place of worship for Matsu, the patron saint of fishermen and the empress of heaven.

Enter the Sanchuan Hall and note ornate decorations that turn walls and beams into works of art. Notice inlaid carvings of dragons and mythical beasts alongside representations of Matsu herself.

In the Main Hall, photograph an ornate, gilded altar, which is framed by pretty curved roofs above. Look for a larger-than-life statue of Matsu, built by renowned sculptor Chuan Chou more than three centuries ago. Matsu is flanked by depictions of two tamed spirits: Eyes that See a Thousand Miles and Ears that Hear on the Wind.

In the Worship Hall, search for one of two stone tablets laid during the reign of Emperor Kang Si in 1685. Approach the nearby statue of the Old Man under the Moon and perform a tribute ritual. This figure is believed to bring luck in love to unmarried men and women.

At the rear of the temple, inspect a pretty shrine dedicated to Matsu’s parents. This room was formerly the bedroom of Emperor Zhu Shugui. Look up to see a macabre crossbeam, upon which each of the king’s five concubines hung herself in concert with his suicide.

Da Tian Hou Temple is located in the center of Tainan’s historic district, tucked between Yongfu and Xinmei Roads. Get here using Tainan’s efficient bus routes or the city’s high-speed rail system. The temple is open daily and free to enter.


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Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Tainan ¥11,169
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Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Tainan

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    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Tainan hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Focus Square, Chihkan Tower, and National Cheng Kung University. Tainan Flower Night Market and Tainan Confucian Temple are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tainan Station is only a 4-minute walk.

    Lakeshore Hotel Tainan ¥8,032
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    Lakeshore Hotel Tainan

    No. 269, Section 1, Yongfu Road, West Central District, Tainan
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Tainan City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Tainan Ximen Store and Tainan Confucian Temple. Chihkan Tower and Shennong Street are also within 1 mi (2 km). Tainan Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      ECFA Hotel Tainan ¥1,647
      ECFA Hotel Tainan

      ECFA Hotel Tainan

      8F, No 145, Sec 2, Zhongyi Rd., Tainan
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Tainan City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chihkan Tower, Tainan Confucian Temple, and Shennong Street. National Cheng Kung University and Tainan Flower Night Market are also within 2 mi (3 km). Tainan Station is 14 minutes by foot.

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        Hotel Tainan

        Hotel Tainan

        1 Cheng Gong Road, West Central Dist., Tainan
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Tainan City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Focus Square and National Cheng Kung University. Chihkan Tower and Tainan Confucian Temple are also within 15 minutes. Tainan Station is only a 3-minute walk.

          KyoMachiya-Kagurazaka ¥3,384
          KyoMachiya-Kagurazaka

          KyoMachiya-Kagurazaka

          No.86, Aly. 18, Ln. 22, Chenggong Rd., North Dist., Tainan
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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            Takatama Hotel
            Takatama Hotel

            Takatama Hotel

            3F, 2 Cheng Gong Road, Tainan
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              City Place Hotel
              City Place Hotel

              City Place Hotel

              No.132, Sec. 2, Zhongyi Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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                Chateau Rich Hotel ¥5,814
                Chateau Rich Hotel

                Chateau Rich Hotel

                No.114, Chenggong Rd, North Dist, Tainan
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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