Sze Yup GuanTi Temple, Sydney


I read about this ancient Chinese temple in Sydney earlier this year, when there was an arson attack just before Chinese New Year. Luckily the main temple was intact.

Finding a historic Chinese building in a foreign land is a comforting experience. The GuanTi Temple was build more than 100 years ago by people from Sze Yup, (Canton) South China. It is situated in Glebe, Sydney.

Converted this photo to black and white, then tone it with slight touch of sepia. It is supposed to give a feeling of timelessness. If I could make the picture a bit more grainy, it would look like 1920s.

The temple is dedicated to an ancient Chinese warrior, called GuanYu. He was a general during the Three Kingdoms era of China (around 200AD). He is respected by all three main Chinese philosophies/religions (Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism 佛,道,儒 ).

Buddhism in Chinese tradition, GuanYu is known as Sangharama Bodhisattva 伽蓝菩萨; the guardian deva of Buddhist Temples and the Dharma (the teaching of Buddha).

忠孝仁義 (loyalty, filial piety, mercy, brotherhood code) are the qualities of GuanYu.

The translation above was difficult to explain the essence of these 4 Chinese characters. Some words just have so much history and culture associated with it, that will be totally lost in translation.

The lanterns in the God of Prosperity Shrine Hall. Devotees donate to the temple, and a lantern is lighted to bring good fortune to the devotee. You can see the popularity of this. I am thankful for this donation, as it is essential to the running and up-keeping of Sze Yup Temple.

Hopefully this important Chinese cultural landmark in Sydney will not be forgotten by our future generations. Sometimes I wonder, how much attachment and understanding will my children have for Chinese culture…

Will they feel the same nostalgia as they walk into this temple 10-20 years from now?

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6 thoughts on “Sze Yup GuanTi Temple, Sydney

  1. haha! If you educate your children well enough…

    Hmm… Anyway, I think this temple is the first temple that our UNIBUDS founder went into.. He met someone here who introduce him to another temple where he met our Patron..

    So, can say without this temple, there wouldn’t be unibuds.. hehe!

  2. Peiwen, you need to tell us more about the story of Unibuds.

    Nocturnale, that temple was simple and small. :) It is the photography :P

  3. Temple is open. Feel free to visit.

    I don’t think the fire damage has been repaired. But the main temple was not affected.


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