Temple of the Town God

Shanghai Old City

Chinese towns traditionally had a Taoist temple of the town god, but many fell victim to periodic upheaval. Originally dating from the early 15th century, this particular temple was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution and later restored. Note the fine carvings on the roof as you enter the main hall, which is dedicated to Huo Guang, a Han dynasty general, flanked by rows of effigies representing both martial and civil virtues.

Exit the hall north and peek into the multi-faith hall on your right, which is dedicated to three female deities: Guanyin (Buddhist), Tianhou and Yanmu Niangniang (Taoist). Gazing fiercely over offerings of fruit from the rear Chengghuang Hall is the red-faced and bearded town god himself. Also note the Taisui Hall where worshippers pay respects to divine figures representing each year of the Chinese zodiac.