Chinese Architecture- Guangzhou (Canton)

Wuxianguan Temple




Guangzhou, China




Qing Dynasty


Base and outside walls are made of brick, the balustrades made of stone, and the eaves and banisters encircling the structure are made of wood.


Wuxianguan, the Taoist temple of the Five Immortals, is purported to be the sight of the visit of five heavenly beings in the foundation myth of the city of Guangzhou.

The myth says that long ago five immortals came to the region riding on the backs of five rams or goats. They brought with them five rice plants and gave the secret of rice cultivation to the people. Hence, Guangzhou is also called “Goat City” (yangcheng) or “Rice City” (suicheng). When the immortals returned to heaven, their goats turned to stone.

The temple includes a main hall of the temple is built in Ming dynasty style to match the huge bell tower behind it which actually dates back to the Ming dynasty. The temple existed elsewhere in Guangzhou, but was moved to its present location in 1377. The bell in the tower dates to 1378. In addition, there is a pond to the east of the main hall with a huge foot-shaped depression said to be the footprint of one of the immortals.


All images copyright 2001 Professor Kerk L. Phillips of Brigham Young University, Utah, USA.
Visit his webpage at


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