Longshan Temple (龍山寺) is the largest scale of temple in Lukang, and it’s also the most well-preserved Fujianese style building of the Qing Dynasty in Taiwan. Due to its architecture and historical value, Lukang Longshan Temple is ranked as first class historical site in Taiwan.
Most of the structures in Lukang Longshan Temple were completed in Qing Dynasty in 1831. The most amazing one is Bagua caisson ceiling (八卦藻井) above outdoor stage. This wood structure was precisely calculated. Craftsmen used leverage to sustain the whole ceiling without a single nail. Besides producing better sound effect, caisson ceiling has a function to suppress evils and bring peace to the town. Pillars, gates, and walls made by stone are elaborate, especially dragon pillars in the front hall.
The resident deity at Lukang Longshan Temple is Guanyin (觀音)*, and it’s the same in every Longshan Temples all over Taiwan. In back worship hall, shrines of Dragon King** and Wind God can be found. In every Dragon Festival, Dragon King is invited to bless favorable weather and good harvest.
With lots of effort from specialists, Lukang Longshan Temple was able to be restored from ruins in 10 years after 921 Earthquake. They tried their best to keep it as original.
* Guanyin is the bodhisattva and usually as a female. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin which means “Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World”.
** The Dragon King is a deity in Chinese mythology commonly regarded as the divine ruler of the ocean. He has the ability to shapeshift into human form and lives in an underwater crystal palace. He has his own royal court and commands an army comprising various marine creatures. Apart from presiding over aquatic life, the Dragon King can also manipulate the weather and bring rainfall.