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Chungli Renhai Temple and Sacred Sign Pavilion


Taoyuan has abundant variations of religious resource and multiple options for religious belief, including six of which that are listed in the “100 Religious Attractions in Taiwan” by Ministry of the Interior:
The texts and figures are extracted from the Taiwanese Religious Map- 100 Religious Attractions in Taiwan: https://www.taiwangods.com/html/landscape/1_001.aspx

6.Chungli Renhai Temple and Sacred Sign Pavilion- The Only Sacred Sign Pavilion with Baroque Style

Chungli Renhai Temple and Sacred Sign Pavilion

Landscape Feature:

Renhai Temple had already been the most important religious belief center of the Hakka residents of the 13 villages at Yang-mei, Ping-zhen and Chungli during the era of Guangxu Emperor of Qing Dynasty, the fierce Japanization movement during Japanese colonization had demolished Taoism temples, and Renhai Temple was the only survived traditional temple at Chungli region and established its dominated position at this region. The Sacred Sign Pavilion near Renhai Temple has abundant historic, cultural and Hakka humanity essence, which is also the symbol of culture of rural education; the exterior adopted the then-fashionable Stucco Washing Finish and Baroque style. Such design had made the Pavilion as the vivid symbol portraying the mixed construction style during Japanese colonization era.

History:

Chungli Renhai Temple was initially constructed in the 6th year of Daoguang Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1826) which was also known as Shin-jie Temple, and is the oldest temple in Chungli District. There are New Streets and Old Streets were separated during Daoguang Emperor of Qing Dynasty, and since the population at New Streets was getting denser, the residents of the 13 villages at Yang-mei, Ping-zhen and Chungli cooperated to build the Temple at such location. Initially, the Temple only worshiped Guanyin, later because the commercial activities were getting more frequent, the Mazu from Chaotien Temple of Beigang was invited in the 8th year of Daoguang Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1828) to be the major God of the Temple. In the 11th year of Showa era of Japanese colonization (1936), the Japnaization movement was conducted and the Chungli Provincial Official, Naokatsu Miyazaki (dates of birth and death unknown) had eliminated Taoism temples everywhere, but spared Renhai Temple since the Temple had sheltered the sick Prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa (1847-1895) before. Renhai Temple had undergone 5 times of reconstruction, and the archwaywith three gates and four pillars built in 2009 has become the landmark in Chungli District. The Sacred Sign Pavilion 50 meters away from the Temple was built during the late period of Qing Dynasty, and rebuilt during the Showa era of Japanese colonization period, so the style of Stucco Washing Finish and the then-fashionable Baroque Style of construction during the Showa and Taiso era were mixed.

Feature Guidance:

A.Layout of Three Halls of Renhai Temple:

A.Layout of Three Halls of Renhai Temple:

The spatial layout of Renhai Temple inherited the style of conventional architecture in Southern China, the mountain gate is isolated at the front of the Temple Hall, the building has the outlook of four pillars and three gates, as well as the dazzling double eave roofs. A fire orb is placed at the center of the major ridge and guarded by a pair of dragons to control the exorcise fire, which has become the landmark of Chungli District. The temple courtyard behind the mountain gate extends to the architecture of Three Halls layout, including San-Chuan Halls extended to worship pavilion (worship pavilion), Main Hall, Rear Hall and East and Left Wings. The major ridge of San-Chuan Halls (The roof ridge at the top of the major beam in Chinese traditional architecture) is decorated with pasted a pair of dragons protecting the Sanxing, the Si-Shi-ridge (one more ridge added on top of the major ridge) is decorated with ceramics cutting and pasting that portraying the gorgeous outlook while the Main Hall is decorated with a pair of dragons protecting the building.

B.The two plaques written with:

Longevity to the Island in on the Ocean” and “Guard the Majority with Mercy” were destroyed due to the collapse of the walls of Renhai Temple in the 18th year of Daoguang Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1838) and the continuous erosion from winds and raindrops. Therefore, in the 9th year of Tongzhi Emperor of Qing Dynasty (1870) it was decided by the public to rebuild the plaques. The rebuilding was conducted by educated scholar (the students of the Chinese imperial examination)Wang, Kuo-hua, he contributed the plaque written “Longevity to the Island in on the Ocean” and the worshippers at Chungli village contributed the one written “Guard the Majority with Mercy”. The two plaques are handed on top of the Main Hall currently.
The two plaques writ

C.Sacred Sign Pavilion:

The Sacred Sign Pavilion is 50 meter away from the left side of Renhai Temple, it was built during the late period of Qing Dynasty, and rebuilt during the Showa era of Japanese colonization. At that time, New Streets of Chungli was highly populated and many scholars and gentries had come to the region. The Hakka people built the Sacred Sign Pavilion near Renhai Temple to incinerate the reminas of written words to express the respect to words and Gods. The height of Sacred Sign Pavilion is about 4.33 meters, the interior of the Pavilion is built with bricks and the exterior is covered with Stucco Washing Finish. There are three levels of the Pavilion, the top one is hexahedron with “Sacred Sign” carved at its front, the edges of the Pavilion are arc style and the roof is designed as a vase; the middle level is tetrahedron, with a incineration entry at it front side and there are complex linings around its surface, similar to the decorations as bats which is with the purpose to utilize the homophonic pronunciation of bat in Chinese as “Fu” (blessing); the bottom level of the furnace is octahedron. Being influenced by the architecture style of Japan back then, during the reconstruction, the bearing design (also known as ormer bearing) decoration style of Baroque was mixed, making the Sacred Sign Pavilion to be the only Pavilion in Taiwan with Baroque Style and the vivid example of resenting the cultural fusion during Japanese colonization era, now Sacred Sign Pavilion is the Taoyuan City Government designated historical spot.

Useful Tips:

The pilgrimage of Renhai Temple is conducted during the period from September to December of the Lunar Calendar, besides marching to Chaotien Temple of Beigang for worshipping, the pilgrimage also circles around the 13 villages regions, which is the most popular religios activity in Chungli District.

Information:

Address: Renhai Temple: No. 198, Yangpin Rd., Chungli Dist.; Yuan Hua Yuan : No. 205, Yangpin Rd., Chungli Dist., Taoyuan City

Geographic Coordination:121.22792,24.96233

Fee:Free of charge

Open Dates:

24/7 for the whole year for the guidance

Great Ceremony of the Birth of Mazu, random date selected from the week before March 23 each year of the Lanar Claendar

Opening Hours: 5:00 A.M. ~ 9:00 P.M.

Management Organization: Foundation of Renhai Temple, Yuan Hua Yuan

Tel:(03)452-3356

Update:2017-11-30
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