Foshan Ancestral Temple

Foshan Ancestral Temple has been developed into a folk museum that shows the ancient architecture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911 AD) and the traditional culture of Foshan. It covers an area of 30,200 square meters (7.5 acres), including the ancient temple complex, the Confucius Temple, the Huang Feihong Memorial Hall, and Ye Wen Hall, etc. The main hall enshrines Zhenwu Xuantian God, the God of Water in Taoism. It is praised as the Palace of Oriental Art, for the ingenious architectural decorations including wood carvings, brick carvings, stone carvings, pottery sculptures and lime sculptures. The cultural relics inside are mainly Taoist articles and Foshan local folk relics, displaying Taoist culture, martial arts and Foshan folk arts.

In local people’s eyes, Foshan Ancestral Temple is a blessing temple, for they believe Zhenwu Xuantian God would bless them harvest and peaceful life. They go there on traditional holidays to pray for blessings and have a repentance to purify their souls. Many newly married couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony there to sake for the God’s blessings.

History of Foshan Ancestral Temple since 1,000 Years Ago

Foshan Ancestral Temple was firstly built during 1078 to 1085 AD in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD), and rebuilt in 1372. In the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD), it gradually became a temple complex with strong local characteristics. In 1449, it became official ancestral temple under the imperial order. Since then, Foshan Ancestral Temple has been an official place of sacrifice. In 1451, it was expanded with the support of the imperial court. Up to 1899, Foshan Ancestral Temple was overhauled to be formed what we see today. Besides, Confucius Temple there was built in 1911 to worship Confucius.

What to See in Foshan Ancestral Temple

Lingying Archway

Lingying Archway is the most majestic archway of wooden and stone structure in Guangdong Province and an important building in Foshan Ancestral Temple. It was built in 1451, named after the temple name given by the emperor at that time. Its structure is extremely strong as the archway has withstood typhoons of 12 levels. It is a three-storey towering building, with a large number of corbel brackets between the pillars. There are a few tablets with golden Chinese characters on the archway.

Jinxiang Pool

Jinxiang Pool is located in front of Lingying Archway and was dug in 1513. In the middle of the pool, there is the stone sculpture of turtle carrying a snake on back, which symbolizes Zhenwu Xuantian God. People would throw coins to the stone sculpture. It is said that the more coins you hit the sculpture, the more wealth you would get.

Wanfu Stage

Wanfu Stage in Foshan Ancestral Temple is the oldest and best preserved ancient stage in South China. It was built in 1658 and has a wide stone paved area in front. Wanfu Stage is 2.07 meters high (6.8 feet) and decorated with splendid wood carvings. There are also two-tiered long corridors on both sides for the public to watch the performances given on the stage. The yard encircled in Wanfu Stage, corridors and Lingying Archway, forms a natural echo wall, which guarantees excellent sound effects of performance on the stage. Nowadays, it is the site where new couples hold their wedding ceremonies. On weekends, the 1st and 15th day of every Chinese lunar month, there will be a performance of Cantonese Opera at 13:00-15:30 on Wanfu Stage.

Purple Cloud Palace

Purple Cloud Palace, or Zixiao Palace, is the main hall and the most important old building in Foshan Ancestral Temple. It adopts the construction method of the Song Dynasty, making it a rare example of Song-style corbel bracket. A lot of corbel brackets were applied to protect the sixteen pillars below from the rain, looking majestic. The bronze statue of Zhenwu Xuantian God is worshipped inside. With painted robes, it is golden and shining. There are also many precious artworks in Main Hall, including various ancient weapons, giant bronze mirror with a diameter of 1.31 meters (4.3 feet), copper tripods, copper bells, copper incense burners, iron tripods, iron paintings, and so on.

Huang Feihong Memorial Hall

In the northeast corner of Foshan Ancestral Temple, there is a two-floor Qing-style brick building, that’s just Huang Feihong Memorial Hall. Huang Feihong is the country-famous marital arts master, who established schools to teach martial arts and Chinese medicines, and set a precedent to allow girls playing lion dance. Inside the hall, there is the only surviving photo in China of Huang. Many tourists would take photos with the master's photo. Feihong Cinema keeps playing movie videos about Huang Feihong.

Visitors can watch the performances of Martial Arts and Lion Dance every day on the square in front of Huang Feihong Memorial Hall, which are given three times daily except on rainy days respectively at 10:00-10:40, 14:15-14:55 and 15:30-16:10. You may also learn the martial arts and lion dance from masters at 11:00-12:00 or 16:20-17:20 in the same site at extra charge.

Confucian Temple

Confucian Temple built in 1911 inside Foshan Ancestral Temple is the worship place to Confucius, the great sage came up with Confucianism. It has been the cultural symbol of Foshan. Local people hold the worship ceremony every year on the birthday of Confucius. People gather at Confucian Temple on the day to make a salute to the sage, dance in ancient manner and play the lion dance. The school-age children would have their first class there, too.

How to get to Foshan Ancestral Temple

By Metro:
Take Guangzhou Metro Guangfo Line to Zumiao Station, and come out from Exit D. Then walk northeast and you can see Foshan Ancestral Temple on your right.

By Bus:
Take bus 101, 105, 116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 123, 126, 128, 134, 137, 164b, g12 and get off at Zumiao Station.
Take bus 106, 159, 185c, Tourist Bus 1, Tourist Bus 2, Tourist Line 3, Tourist Bus 4 and get off at Zumiao Station.

Opening Hours 08:30 - 18:00
Stop entry at 17:30
Admission Fee CNY 20;
CNY 10 for child between 1.2 and 1.5 meters (3.9 and 4.9 ft)
Smart Audio Navigator 8:30-17:30
CNY 10 within 4 hours; additional CNY 5 per extra hour.
Guide and Explanation Service 8:30-17:30
CNY100 for English explanation within 10 people; CNY150 if exceeding 10 persons.
- Last updated on Dec. 20, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Foshan Ancestral Temple
Asked by Susan from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 11, 2015 23:26Reply
Are there Lion Dance and Martial Arts performance at the temple every Sunday.
What days and times can we see them?

Susan Australia
Answers (1)
Answered by Liana from MALAYSIA | Apr. 12, 2015 01:14

Well yes, but actually the shows are presented at the Memorial Hall of Huang Feihong, in the north of this temple. I just know the Lion Dances are on 10:18, 13:50 and 15:18, but I heard the Kungfu Shows are a little earlier than the Lion Dances.
Asked by Ms.sjena from SINGAPORE | Mar. 14, 2011 00:54Reply
hi, all i will be taking the metro line from guangzhou to foshan.from the kuiqi lu station, how do i travel to the ancestor's temple? is there any tourist bus to bring us there? thanking you in advance
Answers (2)
Answered by Mr.Jamie | Mar. 15, 2011 02:16

Do not get off at Kuiqi Lu Station. Get off early at Zumiao Station. It is very close to the temple. Just walk there.
Answered by Ms.IVYSKY from CHINA | Mar. 16, 2011 08:43

Zumiao Station is Ancestors'Temple.
Asked by Ms.sjena from SINGAPORE | Mar. 09, 2011 23:55Reply
hi i will be travelling to foshan fr guangzhou in april. may i know is there any shopping areas near the ancestors' temple? thank you for ur time
Answers (2)
Answered by Mr.Jack | Mar. 10, 2011 22:11

There are many department stores around the ancestor's temple like Baihua Square, Oriental Square, Xinghua Shopping Mall, Fusheng Shopping Mall, etc.
Answered by Ms.IVYSKY from CHINA | Mar. 11, 2011 09:38

Hi Sjena,
There are some shopping areas near the ancestors' temple: Baihua Plaza,Zumiao lu and renmin lu. but i suggest you can go to the dongfang plaza,there are many shops delicious food.Good trip there
Asked by Mrs.Deeker from AUSTRALIA | Jan. 26, 2011 22:51Reply
What are The Ancestral Temple Foshan Performance Times?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Henry | Jan. 28, 2011 01:57

There will be activities held in the temple during the Chinese traditional festivals.
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