Dedicated to Tianshang Shengmu (Heavenly Mother, more commonly known as Matzu), Nanyao Temple is renowned throughout Taiwan as a mecca for the Matzu faith. According to legend, a kiln worker brought a statue of Matzu from the Tianhou Temple in Bengang to the south gate of Changhua County in the Qing era. Worshipers built a temple to enshrine the statue during Emperor Qianlong's reign in the Qing era, naming the temple ""Nanyao"", with ""nan"" meaning ""south""—as in the south gate—and ""yao"" being a homonym for the word meaning ""kiln"". Because the Matzu faith stems from Bengang, Nanyao Temple has organized pilgrimages to Bengang every year since the reign of Emperor Jiaqing. Worshipers from different places have since organized to go on these pilgrimages, and as a result, there are many Matzu associations under Nanyao Temple. From front to back along its central axis, the layout of Nanyao Temple consists of the front gate, the main hall, Guanyin Hall, and Lingxiao Hall (hall for worshiping the Jade Emperor). On either side of these structures are side wings, guoshui (small passageways between structures), verandas, and pilgrim dormitories. Together, these structures make up the whole Nanyao Temple complex. Since the structures were built in different eras, they all feature different architectural forms, styles, and layouts. The most distinctive among them is the Guanyin Hall—a building with a combination of Western and Japanese architectural features that bears witness to the history of architecture in Taiwan.
The architectural style of the Guanyin Hall of Nanyao Palace is very different from the main hall and Sanchuan Gate. This is the architectural feature of Nanyao Palace.
Clay sculpture medals on the walls on both sides of the Guanyin Temple enshrine the eighteen arhats
The Mingjian shrine of the Guanyin Temple enshrines Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, so the front elevation writes "Sincerely this place is Putuo."
The main hall dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the sky is the double eaves roof of Xieshan
The plaque "Same Service with Heaven" is a plaque written by the Hanlin of the Southern Study of the Qing Dezong in the 7th year of Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1881)
The doorway decoration was originally the Japanese flag and the Japanese flag, but after the war, it was changed to the flag of the Republic of China
The middle door leaf of Sanchuan Gate is painted with a golden dragon, which symbolizes the noble godhood of the Virgin in the sky
A four-pillar and three-door archway was built in front of the temple in 1988
Dedicated to Tianshang Shengmu (Heavenly Mother