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Old City God's Temple

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Located in the area south of Yan'an Road on the Fangbang Zhong Road, Shanghai Old City God's Temple (Lao Chenghuang Temple) is a major Taoist temple in Shanghai. Cheng refers to the city, Huang is the dry moat. Both Cheng and Huang are the military establishments in protection of the city. 

It was originally the Jinshan God Temple, dedicated to the spirit of Jinshan, or 'Gold Mountain', an island off the coast of Shanghai. It was converted into a City God's Temple in 1403 during the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), thus it is an old temple with the long history of about 600 years. When it was initially finished, it was small in size. Several additions and enlargement were made during Ming and Qing (1644 - 1911) Dynasties. When at its prime time, the coverage of the temple reaches up to 49.9 Mu (8.2 acres). Chenghuang Temple became very prosperous during Qing Dynasty. The popularity of the temple also led to more business to be set up in the area, turning the surrounding streets into a busy marketplace. Local residents and nearby visitors all thronged here in quest of their necessities, boutiques, jewellery. The present temple covers an area of more than 10,000 square meters including the Huoguang Hall, the Yuanchen Hall, the Caishen Hall, the Cihang Hall, the Chenghuang Hall and the Niangniang Hall. 

People come to Old City God's Temple not only to prayer for peace and fortune, but also to have the most authentic flavor of Shanghai specialties. Unlike the sweet taste of Cantonese and Hong Kong food and the spicy flavor of Sichuan cuisine, the local food is well-known for being light, fresh and tasty. Among all snacks, Tangbao, Baiye, and Youmianjin are the most popular. Tangbao is the unique kind of dumpling filled with gravy soup. They are small and delicately made with a thin layer of dough and abundant stuffing. Tangbao tastes more delicious when you mix the crab or shrimps in its filling. After a bite of soft exterior, the gravy soup with pleasant small flow out together. Most people become addicted to it after the first bite. Baiye is another snack that you can't help tasting in Chenghuang Temple. It is made of several thin layers of bean curd. It is quite similar to the bow-tie in appearance and is usually mixed with rib soup after being boiled. To make it taste better, you can add some salt and green onion. Youmianjin are fermented dough balls made from flour powder. In spite of being deep-fried, they don't taste greasy at all. A lot of seasoning is added to enhance the snack's flavor.

Shanghai Old City God's Temple is always thriving and crowded with people. It is especially bustling during the holidays and temple fairs. Both domestic and overseas tourists like to roam around and pick up some nice souvenirs here. There is a popular saying: You are considered not having visited Shanghai if you miss the Old City God's Temple, which fully demonstrates the importance and impact of it in Shanghai.

 Entrance Fee: CNY 10

 Opening Hours: 08:30 - 16:30

A. Take Bus No. 11, 64, 304, 736, 801, 920 or 930 and get off at Xiaodongmen stop, and walk to the temple;
B. Take Bus No. 17, 26, 320 or 926 and get off at Laobeimen stop, and walk to the temple;
C. Take Bus No. 24 or 581 and get off at Yuyuan stop, and walk to the temple;
D. Take Subway Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan station, and walk to the temple.

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