Thursday, October 15, 2015

Taiwan Glass Temple & Glass Gallery

From ancient historical temples, our visit made a turn towards more modern ones. One such modern temple that we visited was the Glass Temple (玻璃庙), which was also a Mazu temple. Situated in an industrial area, we got a little lost as a temple in this area seemed out of place amidst factories and such.

Reported as the only temple to be made of glass in the world, the temple had its roof, walls and altars made from glass. This is different to the glass temple found in the southern state of Johor in Malaysia called the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, a Hindu temple which, instead of being "made" of glass, is entirely embellished with glass fittings and impressive glasswork.

There were two things that impressed me most - one being the glass panel with a mountain at the main alter (above photo) and the long hand-painted glass wall painting (below). 

There was a small pond in the middle of the temple and a common ritual is to throw coins towards the middle to make a wish. Allie gave me coins to throw and I had to disappoint him, as none of the coins I threw managed to reach the middle!

Remember how I mentioned that the temple was located within the vicinity of an industrial area? Well, the temple was actually built by the Taiwan Mirror Glass Enterprise Limited (台湾玻璃馆). As such, the temple also shared an industrial lot with the Taiwan Glass Gallery.

Free to the general public, the glass gallery was on the first floor of the building and displayed various kinds of glass artworks, household glassware and glass for industrial use. In summary, it displayed the kinds of glass and mirrors that the company manufactures.

So many things were reproduced using glass, paintings and even landscape, like this koi pond and glass bridge Mum and Dad are standing on.

Apparently, from time to time, glass craftsmen conduct performances and workshops in glass painting and glass bead colouring for adults and children alike. Mum spent a long time browsing their shop on the lower level of the building and bought some souvenirs - not too big ones, as we wanted to save space in our luggage and also to prevent anything from breaking.

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