Yinshan Temple (Dingzhou Guildhall)

 Address:Geographical location : No.15, Denggong Rd., Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City Longitude : 121.448239891607, Latitude : 25.1692953827687
 Subject:AssetClassification : Historic Monument, AssetsLevel : National Historic Monument, Asset Type : Temple



Yinshan Temple was built in 1824, in the 4th year of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty, to worship Dingguang Buddha, who is a protector deity that the Hakka people from Dingzhou area of Fujian honored. This location also serves as an assembly place or a guildhall for the Dingzhou Hakka people. The main body of the temple structure was renovated twice, once in 1858, and again in 1873. Aside from these renovations, the overall architectural layout built during the period of Emperor Daoguang is fairly well preserved, including the roof ridge and the well-kept clay sculptures accompanying it. The temple is a compound of two main halls, two corridors and a courtyard; the main entrance hall is three-bay wide, where four columns divide the space into three compartments. The hall is decorated with simple and unsophisticated stone drums, carved tigers and other sculptures. The carved walls on the two sides are adorned with paintings of auspicious creatures such as dragons and tigers commonly seen in temples. Also there are clay sculptures depicting the stories about the eradication of the aquatic dragons and tigers by Dingguang Buddha. The themes of the sculptures are artistic creations based on folklores and legends. The roof ridge of the main hall decorated with raised swallowtails is supported by a flush-gable roof, and the wood truss employs the method of “san tong wu zhua” (three through beams joined by five sets of gourd shaped corbels). The column sculptured with a dragon at the entrance of the main hall is characteristic of the Daoguang period. On two boards over the shrine, there are inscribed words "Dade Puji," meaning “great virtue and universal mercy," and "Shideng Bian," meaning “arriving on the other shore." Both boards are valuable artifacts made in 1824 (the 4th year of Emperor Daoguang). In addition, one of the most distinguishing characteristics found in Yinshan Temple is the moveable joints and limbs of the statue of Dingguang Buddha.