Add:9, Lane 196, Zhongshan Rd M.
Through repeated renovations and expansions, the Dongyue Temple in Songjiang District has survived over the centuries and is now one of the few Taoist temples in Shanghai.
Its striking features include a 20-meter-tall main temple hall covering 1,491 square meters and a pair of ancient gingko trees.The main temple hall, with a gabled roof, is dedicated to the God of Mount Tai.
Little is known about when the temple was originally built. However, local records show that the temple was first expanded by a government official in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The historical records were compiled during the reign of Jiaqing Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Twice badly damaged, first in a fire in 1345 and then in foreign invasion in 1553, the temple underwent renovation and expansion several times.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Yuhuang Pavilion was built within the temple by a government official during the reign of Emperor Chenghua (1465-1487) and in 1492, renovation work was carried out and a stage and a palace for the emperor to rest were also built. From 1573 to 1619, another two temple halls were built, Mingsi Hall for the Ghost and Yanghou Hall for the black-faced God of Zhao Tianhou.
During the Qing Dynasty, Dongyue Temple became a well-known, large-scale Taoist temple.None of the original buildings can be found today, but there is a pair of centuries-old gingko trees in the courtyard. The temple was dismantled in 1965 because it was in danger of collapse due to lack of maintenance and an infestation of termites.
It was not until 2002 that a restoration project was launched under the approval of the Songjiang District government. The construction of the main temple hall was completed in March 2004. Some other temple halls and buildings were also restored.
Today religious events are held at Dongyue Temple during major Taoist festivals, including on the birthdays of the gods.
Address: 9, Lane 196, Zhongshan Rd M.
Admission: 5 yuan