During the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing era (1736-1795 CE), a group of merchants from Nanjing—a county in Zhangzhou, Fujian—crossed the ocean to Taiwan. To pray for safe passage on the way, they brought a statue of Guansheng Dijun (more commonly known as Guan Yu) from their hometown. In the 48th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign (1783 CE), these merchants raised funds to build a temple for the statue. Originally a center of faith open exclusively to Zhangzhou immigrants, Nanjing Temple saw a steady stream of worshipers in the early days and was named one of the ""four major temples of Lukang"" along with Longshan Temple, Dizangwang Temple, and Tianhou Temple. The front gate and main hall of Nanjing Temple form a layout of two main structures and a courtyard. The temple was renovated twice by Zhangzhou merchants, once in the 5th year of Emperor Jiaqing's reign in the Qing era (1800 CE) and the other in the 20th year of Daoguang Emperor's reign (1840 CE). The temple also houses many works by great literary figures and artisans. For example, the menshen (threshold guardians) Chin Shu-pao (571-638 CE) and Wei Chih-kung (585-658 CE) were painted by Lukang artisan Wang Yang-ho (dates of birth and death unknown), while the gourd-shaped brackets, beams, and altar in the main hall were carved by father-and-son duo Li Sung-lin (1906-1998 CE) and Li Ping-kuei (1948- CE). These masterpieces show that Nanjing Temple has rich artistic value in addition to being historically significant for witnessing the history of Zhangzhou settlers in Lukang.
The "Volunteer Rising Clouds" plaque is the ink mark left by Chen Baichuan (1897-1987) at the temple's prayer ceremony after the renovation and completion in 1971.
The plaque "Yirin Spring and Autumn" hung above the main hall is the calligraphy of Ouyang Jinhua (1924-2012), a famous calligraphy artist in Lukang in modern times
A plaque presented by Zeng Jiqing (birth and death year unknown) when the Nanjing Palace was rebuilt in 1970
The painted inscriptions of plum, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo in the temple are presented in the form of gold painting
Nanjing Temple in Lukang is equipped with a sacred horse and a red rabbit horse
The lord of the Nanjing Temple in Lukang worshiped Emperor Guan Sheng (Fu Mo the Great), and the Prince Guan Ping and General Zhou Cang accompanied the law-protecting generals
Nanjing Temple in Lukang is a load-bearing wall structure, which is a hard-mountain purlin-style building. The hard mountain purlin is a method in which the gable wall is higher than the truss purlin, and the roof is lower than the gable wall; the purlin is the design of inserting the purlin into the gable wall instead of the roof truss, the material is simple and the layout is flexible
The paintings of the gate gods Qin Shubao (571-638 AD) and Yu Chigong (585-658 AD) are the works of Lugang craftsman Wang Xihe (birth and death year unknown). The technique is delicate and rigorous.
On both sides of the temple gate are couplets with red background and gold characters written by Zhu Qinan (1879-1974) and Chen Baichuan (1897-1987)