The Shanghai Temple of the Town God (Chenghuang Miao or Chenghuangmiao), located in the walled portion of Old Shanghai next to the Yuyuan Garden, is an orthodox Taoist temple dedicated to three local deities or “city gods,” General Huo Guang, scholar Qin Yubo and General Chen Huacheng.
Almost every city in China has a Town God temple, and Shanghai’s dates back to 1403. It was converted into a City God Temple in 1403 during the Ming Dynasty. As the popularity of the temple grew during the Qing Dynasty, businesses started popping up in around it until the entire area turned into a busy marketplace until its near destruction during the Cultural Revolution.
While the temple was restored in the 1990s and again in 2005, its renovations have held true to the building’s fifteenth century beginnings. You’ll still see local Shanghai residents burning incense to statues of Huo Guang and Qin Yubo, and the much of the market surrounding the temple has been restored, though you’ll see more souvenir stalls and noodle shops nowadays.