Our second sightseeing stop in Taipei was Longshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺), one of the oldest in the area. Being our first temple visit in the country, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. What we found upon arrival was a super ornate structure. In stark contrast to the subdued and calm beauty of Japan’s temples and shrines, Longshan is jam-packed with intricate statues and carvings nearly everywhere the eye can see.
Every corner turned kept me fully occupied since I love to delve deep into the layers to see what I can be found. I thought it was quite amazing that so much has been preserved in the process of maintenance and repeated rebuilding due to damage since the 1700s
The entry gate is fitted with a modern scrolling LED display but it isn’t the thing that stands out most amongst the ornate extravaganza.
The entrance from the front courtyard. The amount of patina is impressive considering that this temple has been rebuilt so many times.
The roof is littered with intricate statues of deities and mystic creatures.
I took a liking to this faded lantern.
The white outlines and gold accents on some of the stone reliefs looked really nice.
The main hall that houses a Kuan-in statue.
There was a prayer session taking place so I didn’t venture into the main hall.
More dragons to accompany the temple’s name.
These rooms to the side were closed off.
These spiny spitting fish were among my favorite decorations.
The column detail is really amazing.
These dudes have a tough job.
Columns covered in prayers.
Playing with fire.
The glass buildings in the background ruin the atmosphere a bit.
I just thought this gremlin guy was funny looking.