The Town God Temple

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, Temples, by Jack Li

The Town God is a Taoist god and is responsible for protecting the towns and cities. The Worshipping of the Town God in China started from the Zhou Dynasty, almost 3,000 years ago. It is said that he punishes evil persons, satisfy the residents’ needs, and ensure harvests by providing the rain. Because the Town God is concerned with people’s daily life, he has become one of the most popular Gods in China. In some regions, people even apotheosize local notabilities, making them the God of their own town or city after their deaths.

The spread of the Town God Temples could date back to the Tang Dynasty, when almost all the cities and towns had their Town God Temple. In the Song Dynasty, even a small village had its own Town God Temple. At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang ordered to construct a splendid Town God Temple in the then capital Nanjing, and granted the Town Gods of different areas titles of nobility such as lord, king, and emperor.

The Town God Temple beside the Great Wall at the Juyongguan Pass was built in the Ming Dynasty. It was renovated in the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. People hoped that this Town God Temple would not only protect the city, but also regularize the behavior of the army stationed there.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

Jack Li

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