The oldest temple in Taiwan, Mengjia Longshan Temple was built in 1738 by immigrants from Fujian, China. The ornate and exquisite structure has been damaged by war and natural disasters, but also rebuilt, expanded, and improved over the years. Today is remains a center of religious life and a bastion of local culture in Taipei.
Considered one of the three great temples of Taipei, Longshan Temple is dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. However, as is typical with temples in Taiwan, it actually houses hundreds of Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk deities, including Mazu, goddess of the sea. Don’t miss the only pair of bronze dragon columns in Taipei; intricate and ornate decorations on the doors, walls, and roofs; and elaborate carvings out of stone and wood.
Many Taipei sightseeing tours stop at Longshan Temple as well as other attractions that may include nearby Bopiliao Ancient Street or Huaxi Night Market, Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, and the National Palace Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Longshan Temple is a must-see for those with an interest in history, architecture, and religion.
- This is an active place of worship, so please be respectful.
- The temple is free to enter but donations are accepted.
- Due to very thick crowds and stairs to some areas, the temple is not ideal for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Longshan Temple is located in Taipei’s Wanhua district. By MRT, take the Blue Line to Longshan Temple (Exit 1). By train, take the local service to Wanhua Station and walk north to the temple. A number of buses also stop nearby.
When to Get There
The temple is open daily until 10pm throughout the year. To hear the chanting of monks and gathered worshippers, visit around 6am, 8am, or 5pm, though it’s also worthwhile visiting at night to see the temple lit up.
Festivals and Gatherings at Longshan Temple
The temple holds a number of festivals and cultural activities a year. Guanyin’s birthday is a popular celebration. On the 1st and 15th of each month, worshippers gather to celebrate the sea goddess, Mazu, and the popular lantern lighting ceremony occurs on the eve of the Chinese New Year.