This local Ming dynasty temple, commemorating the promotion of Shanghai to a municipality, worships the three city gods. It is conveniently located in the Yuyuan Bazaar area, near the famous Yuyuan Gardens, making it a great place to visit if you are pressed for time but want a taste of Chinese taoist culture.
Formerly the Jinshan (Golden Mountain) Temple, the buildings were converted into a City God Temple in 1403. It’s popularity resulted in the formation of the surrounding bazaar, which is now a popular tourist shopping spot. After a brief period as a storehouse and jewellery shop during the cultural revolution, the temple was reopened in 1994 and remains active today.
The three city gods the temple is dedicated to are:
- Huo Guang (a famous Han dynasty chancellor and the original city god of Shanghai)
- Qin Yubo (a former Ming dynasty chief examiner)
- Chen Huacheng (a Qing dynasty general killed in the option wars against the British)
Commemorating the day the god Chenghuang came to Earth, the Sanxun festival is a huge celebration in Shanghai. In particular, red lanterns are hung in and around the City God temple, many worshipers come to burn incense and pray, and there are a range of cultural activities such as calligraphy performances and acrobatics.
Tickets: 10 RMB
Opening hours: 8:00 – 16:30
Recommended visit: 30 minutes
Transport: take metro line 10 to Yuyuan Garden station (豫园站 – exit 3), walk straight for 5 minutes then turn left onto Middle Fangbang Road. The temple is located about five minutes down.