This breathtakingly beautiful temple in Taipei’s Datong district was first constructed in 1804, replacing an existing wooden shrine from 1742. This temple has always remained standing, unlike many other temples in Taipei that have been damaged over the years due to natural disasters, or destruction during World War II and the Japanese colonial period. Throughout the 20th Century, it underwent many improvements and extensions, most recently in 1995. In 2003, it received a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Culture Heritage Conservation. Take a look around the temple below, and get a taste of the life teeming within its walls.
In Ancient China, temples were designed around the particular gods to which they were dedicated. There are two main categories of traditional architecture: for nature deities and deities of humanity. Baoan Temple is dedicated to Baosheng Dadi. Known as a great Taoist Saint of the Song Dyanasty (960-1279), he is considered to be worthy of the rites befitting and emperor. The temple, which is oriented towards the south, includes many structures and characteristics of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist origin.
The corridor walls surrounding the Main Hall of Baoan Temple feature several murals. Each of these masterpieces were painted by the late artist Pan Li-Shui in 1973. Many of the various wood carvings throughout the structure are the work of Chen Ying-Bin and Guo Ta during the Taisho Period of Japanese rule. These two men staged a contest of craftsmanship with their resulting work being selected on its merits for inclusion in the temple. In addition to the expected traditional Chinese depictions, the two artists were also influenced by Western culture. Throughout the front hall, observant visitors can view western-style buildings carved into the panels that support the cross beams. There are also clay sculptures of western women in dresses and men in suits.
Cover Photo By Daniel Aguilera Sánchez - 保安宮 - Baoan Temple - Taipei, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80957042