Great Queen of Heaven Temple is also called Tainan Big Mazhu Temple. It was the residence of King Ninjing of Ming Dynasty. This king is also known as “I Uen Chi”, so this residence is also known as the “I Uen Chi Garden”
Legend has it that Machu (Lin, Mo-niang) was born to an official family. After her father quitted his job in the government, he worked as farmer in the island of Mechou in Fujian Province, China. As she did not cry for months after her birth, her parents called her “Mo”, which means silence in Chinese. She was very smart and could memorize every book she had read. At the age of 13, she could write poems. She loved swimming, as if she were the reincarnation of the god of the sea, and she used to save people from drowning. At the age of 18 she was gifted by a god with a copper charm, which gave her divine powers.
A Qing Dynasty general named Shih moved into the residence of the King of Ningjing after taking over Taiwan. Later he changed, modified and even demolished the building. Shih thanked Machu for the success of the battle, worshipped the deity inside the residence, and changed its name to Tianhou Temple.
The Official Mazu Temple was renovated several times, and was listed as a Class I Historical Site in 1985 for its specific historical and cultural status. Amongst nearly 400 temples worshipping Machu in Taiwan, the Official Mazu Temple enjoys a prestigious status, because it was the first Machu temple built by the government and the only Machu temple that included the spring and autumn rituals of the government.
The grand sized Machu statue with a golden face is the more distinguished feature of the Official Mazu Temple. It is one of the most representative clay statues in Taiwan. The statues of lesser gods of Thousand-Miles Eye and Tailwind Ear are also state-of-art representations of traditional clay statues. The brave and lively expression and movement of these statues, make you think they are listening and contemplating commoners’ requests.
Datianhou Temple sits on the east side and face west. It is built on a hill, facing ancient harbors. So the temple has a escalating, step-like structure, From the Fore Hall, Pray Hall, Main Hall to Rear Hall, Each hall is bigger, higher and more magnificent than the previous hall. Its facade has three doors, and its structure has a deep four-halls and 2 aisles positioning.