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Shanghai City God Temple

Shanghai City God Temple

Shanghai City God Temple, also known as Chenghuang Miao, is a Taoist temple known for its long history and grand architecture. The City God Temple was first constructed during the Yongle reign in the Ming Dynasty. After its construction many citizens went there to burn incense and pray for good fortune and safety. Later, in the Qing Dynasty, the temple gained more popularity and shops were set up around the temple, turning the streets around it into a busy marketplace. Thus, the “City God Temple” not only means the temple complex, but also the traditional commercial district hosting annual temple fair events, a range of shops, restaurants, and teahouses.

With several restorations the City God Temple has become a key historical site in Shanghai with magnificent buildings reminiscent of Chinese style architecture. There are over a hundred stores in the area. Most of the buildings with stores have a history of more than a hundred years. The City God Temple is connected to the Yuyuan Garden which is another famous tourist site in Shanghai.

The Shanghai City God Temple is dedicated to three City Gods, the first one being Huo Guang whom was a Chancellor in the Han Dynasty. He is remembered for his role in deposing a young Emperor and replacing him with another. The second City God is Qin Yubo who refused to serve as part of the court in the Ming Dynasty to stay in Shanghai. He had to give up eventually and serve the court. After he died he was named a City God of Shanghai by Emperor Hongwu. The third is Chen Huacheng whom was a general in the Qing Dynasty responsible for defending Shanghai during the First Opium War.