Mon, Jan 13, 2020 - Page 9 News List

Penghu Guandi Temple bell tower collapses
澎湖關帝廟 左側鐘樓意外坍塌

Part of the left side of the Penghu Guandi Temple bell tower collapsed, jeopardizing the safety of traffic and passersby on Wenlin Street below.
澎湖關帝廟左側鐘樓屋頂角崩落,威脅鄰近文林街人車通行安全。

Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者劉禹慶

A huge noise resounded through the neighborhood around Guandi Temple, one of the four major old temples of Penghu County, early Wednesday morning, as the left side of the temple’s bell tower collapsed, spreading rubble across Wenlin Street below. Yeh Ching-hung, head of the Magong City Civil Administration section, happened to be passing on this motocycle at the time. He immediately notified Chaoyang Borough Warden Yen Ming-ching and instructed him to accompany local police to the site and cordon it off as a safety precaution.

It is understood that the roof of the fourth floor at the left side of the Guandi Temple’s bell tower had not had any maintenance work for many years, and that the steel reinforcing bars were rusted. The sudden partial collapse of the structure at 6:30am on Wednesday sent jagged rubble cascading down onto a stretch of road along Wenlin Street. Fortunately, no pedestrians or vehicles were passing at the time, otherwise the rocks falling at high velocity from such a height would have led to serious injuries. As the tower was continuing to crumble, Hsu Huan-ming, head of the religious affairs section of the Penghu County Civic Administration Office, rushed to the scene to inspect the situation, and discussed with the temple management the best way to proceed.

The Chronicles of Penghu have little information about Guandi Temple — also known as the Wusheng (War Sage) Temple — and only record that it was built after the island became part of China’s territory during the Qing Dynasty in 1684, the 23rd year of the Kangxi reign. It was initially built to the west of the Magong Cove military academy (to the east of the present day Penghu Defense Command), but was relocated in the first year of the Guangxu reign (1875) to its current site at then-Hongmu Cheng (present day Beichen Market). Since then, the building has been renovated several times, the last time being in 1973 when it was completely rebuilt. It was then that the bell tower was added.

Concerning the corner collapse of the bell tower, the temple management says that when it was built there was a lack of building materials in Penghu, and in some cases sand from the sea shore was used, and that this has not withstood the test of time. More recently, a series of renovations and maintenance work, including the construction of a decorated archway, has been carried out on the temple. As the bell tower is so tall, however, scaffolding needs to be erected before the tower can be thoroughly inspected, and the management had already instructed the contractor to begin work that afternoon, which involved dismantling the top two floors of the structure. As there had been an accident a few years previously, in which a temple roof decoration had fallen from the rear of the temple and struck a car below, Yen also asked the department to carry out a full inspection.

(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

澎湖縣四大古廟之一的關帝廟,上週三清晨突然傳出左側鐘樓屋瓦掉落,鄰近居民都聽到巨大聲響,緊連的文林街散落一地碎石。馬公市公所民政課長葉慶宏剛好騎車經過,立即通知朝陽里長顏明清會同當地管區,現場拉起封鎖線維護安全。

根據了解,關帝廟左側鐘樓四樓屋頂,不堪年久失修,內部鋼筋鏽蝕,上週三早上六點三十分突然大面積崩落,夾雜尖銳碎角的石塊,大範圍散落在鄰近的文林街道路上,所幸當時無人車經過,否則在重力加速度情況下,恐將造成嚴重傷亡。由於現場仍持續崩落,澎湖縣政府民政處宗教禮俗科長許桓銘趕往現場查看,並與廟方商討後續處理之道。

又稱武聖廟的關帝廟,《澎湖紀略》僅載清朝康熙二十三年(一六八四年)將澎湖收入版圖之後所建。最初設於媽宮澳協鎮署西側校場(今澎湖防衛司令部東側)。光緒元年(一八七五年)遷建至紅木埕(今北辰市場一帶),即為現址。其後經過歷次興建,最近一次則是一九七三年全面重建,並增建鐘鼓樓。

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