If you are visiting Taipei, be sure to include in your itinerary a trip to the Taipei temples and the Road to Heaven. The Road to Heaven is simply Xinsheng South Road, a major road in Taipei that is also sometimes called 8th Avenue. It earned the nickname Road to Heaven because of the places of worship found along its stretch. You will see different temples, churches, shrines, and mosques along Xinsheng South Road, which makes the place worth a visit.
Among the places of worship that you will find in the Road to Heaven are Baoan Temple, Taipei Confucius Temple, and Xingtian Temple. You will be amazed at the variety of structures and the different architectural styles of these places of worship. Before going to these Taipei temples and the Road to Heaven, make sure that you know the appropriate dress code. Some temples are strict when it comes to dress code while others are not. If you are visiting them all in one day, it is best to play safe and wear decent clothing. Men should wear pants and shirts or polo shirts, and women should wear sleeved blouses and pants or long skirt.
Baoan Temple, also known as the Dalongdong Baoan Temple, was built for Taiwanese folk religion worship practices. It was constructed in 1804 by some members of a clan that migrated to Taiwan from Tong’an District, Xiamen. During the Japanese colonization, Baoan Temple went through a series of repairs and extensions. In 1985, the Chinese government designated the temple as a level two historic monument. The temple went through more renovations in 1995, and in 2003, it was given the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. Baoan Temple stands beside Taipei Confucius Temple.
The design of the Taipei Confucius Temple was taken from the Confucius Temple in Shandong Province, China. It was built during the Qing Dynasty. When the Japanese came to Taiwan, they demolished the temple. In 1930, a craftsman named Wang Yi-shun was commissioned to rebuild the temple. He was chosen to rebuild the Taipei Confucius Temple because of his exemplary work in repairing the Longshan Temple, the Xiahai City God Temple, and the Mengchia Temple. The temple was completely reconstructed in 1939.
When you visit the Taipei temples and the Road to Heaven, look for Xingtian Temple. The structure was made to pay respect to Guan Yu who is considered as the patron god of the businessmen. Guan Yu was a general who was in the service of Liu Bei during the Han Dynasty. He was deified during the Sui Dynasty and continues to be worshiped until today. The temple was built in 1967 and is younger than the other temples in the city. Xingtian Temple, which has an area of 7,000 square meters, is designed with sculptures of dragons on the roofs and on the front pillars. You can reach the temple by taking the MRT and going down at Xingtian Temple Station.
Other places of worship you will see along Xinsheng South Road are Xiahai City God Temple, Taipei Wesley Methodist Church, and the Taipei Grand Mosque. The Taipei temples and the Road to Heaven will give you interesting insights about various religious practices of the people of Taiwan.