Moving on to Wenwu Temple (文武廟) located at Sun Moon Lake the next day. The majestic temple sits on a mountainside, north of Sun Moon Lake, was built according to the landscape. Wenwu temple is known to be largest in the area and it’s not hard to tell that. We were greeted by the towering dark green Memorial arch entrance followed by a huge square area. In it, two giant red stone lions flanked the steps to the temple halls.
In Chinese, 文 relates to scholarly and cultural pursuits while 武 refers to military knowledge and martial arts. Hence, the temple has three halls dedicated to the deities like God of Literature (文昌帝君), Confucius (孔子), Yue Fei (岳飞) and Guan Yu (关羽).
The Martial Sage Hall (武圣殿) which house Yue Fei and Guan Yu seem to be the largest hall. There are nice stone carvings like the two dragons chasing the pearl (双龙抢珠) near the steps in front of the hall.
And other carvings like these two depict scenarios during the Three Kingdom era, 三顾茅庐 and 三英战吕布.
The imposing Martial Sage Hall is surrounded by awesome work of art.
Outside the hall places Guan Yu’s weapon of choice – Green Dragon Crescent Blade (青龙偃月刀).
The carvings of nine dragons outside Hall of Achievement (大成殿) which house Confucius are less fearsome than the one at Martial Sage Hall, but equally impressive. The hall’s décor is also simpler with an unmistakeable calming effect.
And the best part is the roof area of Wenwu temple which offers a spectacular view of Sun Moon Lake. But sadly, the gloomy weather that morning kinda dampened my mood as the famous turquoise water is nowhere to be seen…
Another interesting thing about the temple is the stairs that lead all the way down to the pier below. Formerly known as the Stairway to Heaven, people used it to reach the temple from the pier when roads have yet to be constructed. It’s now redone into 366 steps which symbolize 366 days in a leap year and lined with golden wind chimes. I hope to take the Stairway to Heaven perhaps from the pier when I revisit Wenwu Temple in future.
Right across Wenwu temple is where the famous Sun Moon Lake stone marker is located. People will come here to take a mandatory picture/selfie/wefie with it. And the viewing platform allows one to take in a good surrounding view of Sun Moon Lake. If not for the gloomy weather…oh well.