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A temple for the God of War in Shenzhen's Old Town 

See the Glossary of Temple Elements for a general description of these features
Click on linked features to view photographs

1: Front Gate
2: Moon Gates

3: Illustrated panels
A: Statue of Guan Gong
4: Illustrated panels
5: East bay of gate
6: West bay of gate with carriage

B: Statue of Three Brothers
C: Statue of Guan Gong (mounted)

D: Statue of Guan Gong
E: Statue of Zhang Fei
F: Statue of Liu Bei
7: Drum (standing in front of pillar)
8: Bell (hanging in front of pillar)
9: Tables of donated Guan Gongs
10: Counters for incense, etc.
Coils of incense on front of Main Hall
People praying in front of Main Hall

#: Censers
][: Incinerators
OOO: Offering Tables
( ): Pillars


Name: Guan Gong Temple, Nantou, Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, PRC
Main figure:  Guan Yu, also called Guan Di, Guan Gong, and many more.  (Note that "Guan" is also written "Kuan," "Kwon," etc.)  A historical figure well known for his role in the novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Other figures: Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, Guan Yu's companions in life
"History":   The history of this Temple is unavailable at this time.  However, it is located on the edge of a neighborhood which was formerly Xinan.  This was the county seat of Xinan county (encompassing Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Dongguan), which was established in 1573.  The Temple's foundations, then, are arguably from that time or earlier, in the later Ming Dynasty.

Refer to ground plan above for location of features
Click on linked features to view photographs

Note: This is actually a Two-Hall temple, with an anterior courtyard in front of the Main Gate or Entrance Hall; thus the "Central Courtyard" might be considered just "The Courtyard."

Enter the Front Gate (1) and you are in the FRONT COURTYARD.  To the left and right are Moon Gates  (2); the one on the left leads to Xinan Old City and  Zhong Shan Park; the one on the right was blocked at the time of my last visit in September 2004.  A Censer stands in the center of the Courtyard (though it may be moved).

Straight ahead is the MAIN GATE.  On its front are illustrated panels (3) depicting birds and scenes in nature.  In the central bay stands a huge statue of Guan Gong (A), with a Censer and  Offering Table in front of it.  (Note that the side bays of the gate are usually closed from the Front Courtyard side).  Entering the CENTRAL COURTYARD, you can see ten illustrated panels (4) whose contents I have not determined.  In the East bay of the Gate (5) you can see some historic photos of the Temple; there are sometimes volunteers staffing tables here.  In the West bay of the Gate (6) is an old carriage.

In the CENTRAL COURTYARD the first thing you notice is two large Incinerators, used for burning "ghost money" and other offerings to the ancestors; between these stands another Censer.  At the left end of the Courtyard is a large Statue of Three Brothers (B), with a Censer in front of it.  They are (l to r): Liu Bei, Guan Yu (Guan Gong), and Zhang Fei.  These other two were companions to Guan Yu, and the scene is the moment when they drink an Oath of Brotherhood together in a Peach Orchard (a scene from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms).  At the right end of the courtyard is another Statue of Guan Gong; here he is mounted.  Again, a Censer stands in front of the statue.

Straight ahead as you enter the Central Courtyard is the MAIN HALLCoils of incense hang on the front beam on the right, as this temple lacks a separate incense pavilion; you will often see people praying in front of the Hall. The Statue here is again Guan Gong (D), with two  Offering Tables in front of it.  On the front table are chim and moon-shaped wooden blocks.  Both these and the chim (numbered bamboo sticks in a cup) are used for divination.

To the left of the Offering Tables stands a Statue of Zhang Fei (E), and to the right is Liu Bei (F).  In front of the left rear pillar a Drum (7) stands on the floor; in front of the right rear pillar hangs a Bell (8).  On either side of the Hall are Counters (9) for the sale of  incense, oil, and other Temple goods; there may be a fortune teller seated at one of them, to read your chim.  Finally, on the rear wall on both sides of the main figure are  tables of donated Guan Gongs (10), which were brought to the Temple instead of being discarded.

Festivals:   No information is specifically available for this Temple, but Guan Yu's birthday is generally celebrated as the 24th day of the sixth lunar month in South China; this falls in July or August.  In 2005 it will be July 29.
Getting there:   The Temple is located at the western end of Shennan Road.  Many buses--notably #204--stop at the Nantou stop (not the Nantou border crossing).  From the stop, walk 20 or 30 meters west; the gate will be on your right, just before the larger gate of the Xinan old town area.
Also in the area: Xinan Old City, a Ming Dynasty county seat within Modern  Shenzhen

Zhong Shan Gong Yuan (Sun Yat-Sen Park), including a Gathering of Hero Statues

About the photos: All photos on this page are copyright 2004 by James Baquet


click photo to enlarge

Gates and Entry Hall

SZ0001_Front.jpg (15720 bytes)

SZ0001_Center.jpg (16668 bytes)

SZ0001_Moon_Gate.jpg (13574 bytes)

Approaching the Entry Hall

Seated in the entryway,
Guan Gong Himself

The Moongate on the West


SZ0001_Panel_07.jpg (20259 bytes)

SZ0001_Cart.jpg (12963 bytes)

SZ0001_nt_Panel_01.jpg (20863 bytes)

A typical panel from the outside of the Entry Hall

An old cart in the East Bay of the Entry Hall

A typical panel from the inside of the Entry Hall

The Courtyard

SZ0001_3_Friends.jpg (14365 bytes)

SZ0001_Main_Hall_Left.jpg (15979 bytes)

SZ0001_KY_Mounted.jpg (18868 bytes)

Guang Gong and his sworn brothers Liu Bei (l) and Zhang Fei (r), at West end of Courtyard

Incinerators and Candle Pavilion in front of Main Hall

Mounted Guan Gong at East end of Courtyard

Main Hall

SZ0001_Main_Hall.jpg (15813 bytes)

SZ0001_Int_Main_Image.jpg (26253 bytes)


Main Image inside

Worship Activities

SZ0001_Pray-er.jpg (16635 bytes)

SZ0001_Burning_Gifts.jpg (16808 bytes)

SZ0001_Incense.jpg (20286 bytes)


Offering gifts to ancestors

14-day Incense Spirals




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