Longqi Wenheng Temple is one of the most famous temples in Taiwan, renowned for its magnificent architecture, unique cultural features, and long history. Located in Tainan, this temple has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists who are interested in exploring the country’s rich spiritual heritage. In this article, we will dive into the history and cultural significance of Longqi Wenheng Temple and explore what makes it the most powerful temple in Taiwan.
Temples in TAIWAN
Visiting temples in Taiwan is a sacred mental, physical, and spiritual experience. Temple culture lies at the heart of Taiwan’s religious life. It not only reflects the life of ordinary people but also acts as the social center. Taiwan has more than 4,000 temples across the nation, practicing different beliefs such as Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and more. Temples in Taiwan are known for their diversity, colorful architecture, and immersive artistic values. They are the essential substance of its traditional culture.
Temples in Taiwan can easily be found on the mountains, coastal plains, or outlying islands. But there is a hidden gem in the suburban Longqi district of Tainan city, best known for the most “powerful” and multicultural temple in Taiwan – Longqi Wengheng Temple.
The exterior design and size of the architecture look traditional and mesmerizing. However, the internal elements of the temple are where East merges with West. The integration is strange but not out of place. Somehow, the contrast between the superheroes gives an interesting feeling, allowing the visitors to unlock their traditional minds and reshape the experience.
This is the first time this has been done for a temple in Taiwan and internationally, making it a unique destination to visit for anyone.
The Legendary Story of Longqi Wenheng Temple
Longqi Wenheng Temple was initially constructed as an austere temple in 1998. After nearly two decades of transformation, it has become a magnificent cultural hub. When you enter the driveway of Longqi Wenheng Temple, the front and center architecture is imposing and grand. The outdoor area is elegantly decorated with simplicity. The overall energy within the place is powerful yet peaceful.
Mr. Chen Qingfei, the founder of Longqi Wenheng Temple, was a regular visitor to the temple. Growing up, he had to rely on medication due to a rare foot disease that caused him pain and immobility. Life was under tremendous financial stress at an early age. Other than spending time with his family and at work, meditating in the temple was his way of maintaining a positive attitude and keeping faith in life. One unforgettable night, when he was worshipping, he suddenly felt powerful spiritual energy communicating through a blurry light. He described the experience as an affirmation from God and a sense of peacefulness going through his body.
Since then, his strange illness was slowly cured, and his hard work in the construction industry has paid off. Today, he is one of the most successful businessmen in Taiwan. Twenty years after his business took off, Mr. Chen Qingfei started planning to build a new Wenheng Temple to show his gratitude by giving back to society. He has developed the Longqi district into a cultural hub along with his team and the local government.
Over the years, he has continued to plant trees, build rest areas, and invite lesser-known artists to showcase their works. The outdoor space with thoughtful facilities is usually full of cyclists and families enjoying it for free.
The Temple Culture in Tainan Taiwan
Tainan is located on the southwestern coast of Taiwan and is the oldest city in the country, having served as the capital of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty. Today, Tainan is a bustling city that retains much of its traditional charm and cultural heritage, and it is known for its delicious street food, historic sites, and vibrant arts scene. The city is easily accessible by high-speed train, regular train, bus, and car, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Tainan City is renowned for being the heart of Taiwan’s temple culture, with over 2,000 temples within its city limits. It’s no wonder that Tainan has earned its reputation as the spiritual center of Taiwan. These temples are showcases of the island’s rich cultural heritage, religious beliefs, and artistic styles. Visitors to Tainan will be amazed by the intricate details and colorful designs of the temples, which range from the ancient temples dedicated to traditional Chinese gods to the more modern temples that blend Eastern and Western styles. Longqi Wenheng Temple, with its unique blend of styles, is a shining example of Tainan’s temple culture and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the spiritual side of Taiwan.
The Most “Powerful” Temple in Taiwan
Ironman, Transformers, The Avengers, The Hulk, Thor, and more – all in one temple? It’s not a movie plot, but a reality at Longqi Wenheng Temple. As you step into the front hall, besides the traditional hero Guan Gong and other gods, you’ll see American movie superheroes in actual size. These statues were donated by the temple members, including Mr. Chen Qingfei. Given the remote location of the Longqi district in Tainan, Mr. Chen thought that these superheroes would be a fantastic way to attract the younger generation to understand the traditional customs and culture.
Mr. Chen first came up with the idea when he saw his great-grandchildren playing with an Ironman toy and, on the same day, watching the same superhero on television. He became curious and eventually brought the first set of real-size Iron Man figures (each about 180cm high) to the temple. The three superheroes from the Iron Man movie were the first to arrive at the temple, making it an innovative and unique religious resort that’s rare in Taiwan and worldwide.
In addition to Ironman, the Transformers, Hulk, Hulk Destroyer, Captain America, and Thor also joined the superhero squad, standing on each side of the temple gate. The Hulk statue is 3 meters tall, and the Hulk Destroyer weighs 600 kilograms.
What’s most interesting about this place is that the combination of Western superheroes doesn’t seem to overshadow the Eastern gods. It’s the only temple in Taiwan that strikes such a unique balance of atmosphere. Longqi Wenheng Temple is the only temple in Taiwan where you can find such a superhero collection.
Yi De Pavilion – National Treasure Artists
Yi De Pavilion is home to some of Taiwan’s most treasured artists, showcasing a blend of traditional Taiwanese art with a modern western touch. The museum provides a unique space to follow in the footsteps of masters and experience the exquisite art and craftsmanship of Taiwan’s national treasures.
Among the featured artists are Mr. Chen Zheng Xiong, a master of Taiwanese sculpture, and Mr. Lin Kuang-yi, the preserver of the “Koji Pottery Preservation and Restoration Technique”. Whether you’re a connoisseur or simply appreciate the beauty of art, Yi De Pavilion is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage.
Mr. Chen Zheng Xiong
Mr. Chen Zheng Xiong is a renowned Taiwanese sculptor from Tainan. He was born in 1945 and began his artistic career as a woodcarver in his early twenties. He is famous for his intricate and detailed sculptures that showcase his mastery of traditional Taiwanese sculpting techniques. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the National Award for the Arts in Taiwan in 1997. Mr. Chen has also been instrumental in promoting the art of traditional Taiwanese sculpture to the younger generation by teaching at various universities and institutions in Taiwan. His works can be found in many public places and private collections around Taiwan, including the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.
Mr. Lin Kuang-yi
Mr. Lin Kuang-yi is a Taiwanese artist and master of the traditional Koji pottery preservation and restoration technique. Koji pottery is a type of traditional Taiwanese pottery that originated in the 18th century and is known for its unique texture and glaze. Mr. Lin has dedicated his life to preserving and promoting this traditional art form, and he is widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on Koji pottery. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the National Award for Arts in Taiwan, and his pieces are highly sought after by collectors around the world. Mr. Lin’s work can be seen in museums and galleries throughout Taiwan, and he is considered a national treasure in his home country.
Kurt Wenner 3D Exhibition
The Longqi Wenheng Temple is home to the revered deity Guan Gong, and it recently commissioned the renowned 3D artist Kurt Wenner to create a vivid portrayal of Guan Gong’s Three Kingdom story using oil paints and a groundbreaking production process. Kurt Wenner is a master of 3D art illusions and is considered one of the world’s leading artists. His interactive art has been displayed in over 30 countries, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and has captivated audiences around the world.
The exhibition featuring Wenner’s unique interpretation of Guan Gong’s story is open to visitors every Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this breathtaking work of art at Longqi Wenheng Temple in Tainan, Taiwan.
Who is Kurt Wenner?
Kurt Wenner is a renowned American artist who is widely recognized as the inventor of interactive 3D art illusions. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1958, Wenner initially studied sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design before pursuing a career as a street painter in Europe. He has since worked as a freelance artist and designer, creating a wide range of artworks, from murals to sculptures and public installations.
Wenner’s innovative 3D pavement art has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, and his work has been seen by millions of people around the world. His artistic technique, which he calls “anamorphic illusionism,” involves using geometry and perspective to create images that appear to be three-dimensional when viewed from a specific angle. Wenner has also authored several books on his artistic techniques, including “Street Painting: A Guide to a World of Wonder.
Spacious Open Area Ideal for Families and Athletes
Most temples in Taiwan are small due to limited space and budget constraints. However, Wenheng Temple stands out with its substantial outdoor area, which offers ample space for visitors to relax, exercise, and enjoy the surroundings. In addition to the impressive main building located in the center of the square, the outdoor space is thoughtfully designed with trees, benches, picnic areas, and even a self-service coin-operated karaoke machine.
Along the side of the square, a nearby convenience store features a statue of Elsa and Snow Treasure and offers snacks, drinks, souvenirs, and more. On weekends, several kiosks set up to offer a variety of food and beverages, adding to the lively atmosphere.
Chinese New Year Festival
In Taiwan, receiving a red envelope, also known as “hongbao” in Mandarin, during Chinese New Year is a cherished tradition. It is a symbol of good luck and prosperity that is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring blessings for the upcoming year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is believed to bring happiness, wealth, and longevity to the receiver.
For many Taiwanese, receiving a red envelope from the temple is not only a gesture of good luck but also a symbol of respect for traditional culture and beliefs. It is a way to connect with their cultural roots and express gratitude for blessings received in the past year.
Moreover, the act of giving and receiving red envelopes also strengthens social bonds and relationships. It is common for family members, friends, and colleagues to exchange red envelopes during the holiday season as a sign of mutual respect and appreciation.
In the case of Longqi Wenheng Temple, the distribution of red envelopes with lucky money is a popular event that attracts many visitors, who come with their families to participate in this meaningful tradition. The fact that the temple distributes thousands of red envelopes every year shows its commitment to preserving and promoting traditional culture in Taiwan.
Annual Marathon & Marathon Relay
Longqi Wenheng Temple hosts an annual marathon and marathon relay that attracts thousands of participants, including some from as far away as Hong Kong. The event takes place on the winding mountain roads, making it one of the most challenging and beautiful runs in Taiwan.
Participants of the annual marathon and marathon relay in Longqi get to enjoy the stunning mountain view of the area while also challenging their physical fitness. The route provides breathtaking views of the natural landscape, including lush forests, winding streams, and picturesque hills. The runners will also have the opportunity to pass through the famous Longqi Wenheng Temple, where they can take a break and appreciate the temple’s beautiful architecture and art. The challenging terrain and beautiful scenery make the Longqi marathon one of the most popular running events in Taiwan, attracting runners not only from Taiwan but also from other countries in Asia.
Annual Temple Festival
The annual temple festival usually takes place in October, and its purpose is to celebrate the birthday of Longqi Wenheng Temple. Temple members from other cities start to arrive in the afternoon to join in the celebration of this special day. The temple hosts 800 tables for an outdoor feast that must be reserved in advance.
Temple festivals are a great way to experience the rich culture and traditions of Taiwan’s temples. During these events, visitors can witness colorful processions, traditional performances, and enjoy local food and delicacies. In addition, temple members from other cities often gather at the temple to celebrate together, creating a sense of community and togetherness. It’s a unique opportunity to witness the local customs and interact with the friendly locals. The annual temple festival at Longqi Wenheng Temple is a highly anticipated event that offers visitors a chance to participate in the festivities and experience the vibrant culture of Tainan
How to Get to Longqi Temple
To get to Longqi Wenheng Temple in Tainan, you can take Taiwan high speed rail, train or bus to Tainan City first. From there, you can take a taxi, a rental car, or use public transportation to get to the temple. If you are taking public transportation, you can take the Tainan City Bus No. 88 or 99, which will take you directly to the temple. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi or a rented car from the Tainan Train Station, which is approximately a 30-minute drive to the temple.
Longqi Wenheng Temple is a great place to spend a few hours with friends and family. The temple’s innovative thinking and exceptional performance make it stand out from all other temples in Taiwan, attracting visitors of all ages. If you are traveling to Tainan, Longqi Wenheng Temple is a must-visit destination as it not only showcases its character, but also promotes sustainability as a non-smoking temple with waste recycling. It is a unique cultural destination suitable for everyone.
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