Updated on: July 13, 2017
During the Japanese occupation period there were two temples on the banks of the lake: Longfeng Temple in Shueishe Village and Yihua Hall in what is now Yitashao. But when Japanese built their hydroelectric power plants, water levels rosed and the temples had to be eradicated. The Japanese electric company paid compensation and temple managers subsequently decided to combine their resources to build a single new temple at Songboling on the northern shore of the lake resulting in the Wenwu Temple of today.
The architecture of the temple mimics the palace style of northern China with a large imposing structure and three separate halls. On the second floor of the front hall is a shrine devoted to the First Ancestor Kaiji and the God of Literature; the central hall is devoted to Guan Gong, the God of War and warrior-god Yue Fei while the rear hall is dedicated to Confucius. This is the only Confucius Temple in Taiwan that keeps its central door open. Temple officials does this as the temple is on the bank of Sun Moon Lake which welcomes many visitors daily, so they keep the door open for their convenience. The bronze statue of a seated Confucius makes this the only Confucius temple in Taiwan with a statue of the sage. In addition to Confucius, there are also statues of his disciples, Mencius and Zihsih. These three figurines originally came from Mainland China, taken to Japan to escape the Boxer Rebellion near the end of the Qing Dynasty and was subsequently reproduced and housed in Wenwu Temple.
Another interesting feature of the temple is the two vermillion stone lions on the two sides of the front plaza which were donated by Wu Huo-shih, the late chairman of the Shin Kong Life Insurance Company, whose name meant “fire lion.”