Last night strolling with friends at the Raohe Night Market in Taipei we came across a gorgeous temple dedicated to Ma-Tzu, the goddess who protects fishermen from the dangers of the sea.

The main part of the temple was completed in 1757 during the Qing Dynasty.

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Panoramic street view of the Song Shan Ma Tzu Temple. The partial images of people and vehicles capture the hustle and bustle of the nighttime street.

The velvety cool air of the night was perfumed by thousands of sticks of incense, and worshippers left fruit and flowers for their beloved dead. Holding bundles of incense they bow quickly from the waist three or four times, visiting different stations through the immense temple.

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Carvings of forest scenes, battle scenes, and sea scenes all lovingly covered with gold leaf.

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Fierce grimacing brass incense burners fill the air with sweet smoke.

The details of carvings were exquisite, everywhere you look are amazing and intriguing sights!

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Like incense smoke, ethereal dragons curl through this beautiful stone carving. The golden lights behind commemorate real people honored by their families at the temple.

An exceptionally lovely lantern sculpture graced the street next to us.

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In this lantern display, roosters and hens preside over a bounty of flowers, fruit, gold ingots, and chicks. I especially like the chinese cabbage lantern to the right!

My next posting will show you a panoramic view of one of the most breathtaking pieces of temple art I’ve ever seen! Stay tuned!

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