Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple)
Also known as the Sam Kai Vui Kun, the Kuan Tai Temple is found in front of St. Dominic’s Market Complex, near Senado Square, in the traditional commercial center of Macau. It was built in 1750 as the meeting place of Chinese tradesmen.
Kuan Tai is the Anglicized spelling of Guan Yu, a historically significant general during the Three Kingdoms period in China, who in Taoism is a God of Wealth and Martial Arts, and this temple is in reverence to him. Its predominantly western-style architecture is a depiction of the influence of western culture in this Chinese city, and the coexistence of Portuguese and Chinese cultures.
Chinese name: 三街會館 (關帝廟)
Location: Rua Sui do Mercado de Sao Domingos
Entrance fee: free
Opening time: 08:00-18:00
Bus Routes : 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 9A, 12, 16, 22, or 25.
History of Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple):
Built in 1750 to serve as a meeting place for Chinese merchants and tradesmen, this structure eventually became the temple in reverence to the Chinese God of Martial Arts and Wealth – Guan Yu (Kuan Tai). When the Chinese Chamber of Commerce was built in Macau in 1912 this structures purpose as a meeting place for merchants weakened greatly. Kuan Tai is the Anglicized spelling of Guan Yu, was a historically significant general during the Three Kingdoms period in China from 220AD to 265AD, who for his extreme bravery and militaristic prowess was deified as the God of Martial Arts and of Fortune.
Sam Kai Vui Kun literally translates to “A community hall for three streets”, located at the junction of the three oldest streets in Macau – Rua dos Mercadores, Rua dos Ervanários and Rua das Estalagens. It was once the locations of the most flourishing commercial center of Macau.
Architecture of Sam Kai Vui Kun (Kuan Tai Temple):
The Temple is a humble and small structure built in 1750 with a gray brick facade. This building is very small hiding itself among towering buildings and has seen the city change significantly since its original construction. It was made with a Xieshanding-style roof (Nine-Ridge Roof) covered with glazed tiles. The arrangements of it halls is similar though found during the Jin Dynasty from 265AD to 420AD featuring a mountain gate, three halls on a north by south axis. and halls on either side. The main hall is shrouded with incense throughout the year with massive incense coils hanging overhead. The building stands only 10 meters tall and the main ridge is adorned with ornaments depicting two dragons playing with a pearl and a gable wall with intricate stone sculptures.
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