Did you know that Penghu had both "public temples" and "private temples" in the past? The public temples
were collectively known as hepeng (Taiwanese: kah-phenn). Penghu Tianhou Temple, Magong City God
Temple, and Penghu Guanyinting became known as the "Three Ancient Temples of Hepeng" because they
attracted countless worshippers. During the seventh lunar month of each year, the Zhongyuan Festival
(“Ghost Festival”) activities commence at the Penghu Chenghuang Temple and continue at all the other
temples. As an old saying has it, "Start from Chenghuang Temple and end at Guanyinting.”
However, there are two Chenghuang Temples in Penghu, one at Wen'ao and one at Magong, a unique
occurrence for Taiwan. Because the Wen'ao Chenghuang Temple was relatively small, Qing dynasty officials
felt it was insufficiently respectful to the gods. Therefore, the Magong Chenghuang Temple was erected in
1779. Since then, the temple has undergone frequent reconstruction.
During the Sino-French War, artillery bombarded Penghu in 1885, but Chenghuang Temple miraculously
protected residents and soldiers from harm. Consequently, the Qing Guangxu emperor awarded a
commemorative plaque and named the temple “Lingying Hou,” or “Temple of the Responsive Spirit,” putting
it on par with other great Chenghuang temples. The emperor also recognized it with another plaque, “By
imperial decree, Lingying Hou.” Don't forget to check out these precious historical artifacts!