Thian Hock Keng Temple

Immigrants from China built the Thian Hock Keng Temple, dedicated to ‘Ma Zu’, or ‘Ma Cho Po’ (or Mother of Heavenly Sages, in Hokkien), protector of seafarers and navigators. It started out as a prayer house or “joss shrine” located along the shore of Telok Ayer Bay in 1822, and extensive reconstruction transformed it into an opulent temple by 1842. No nails were used in the original tenon and mortise construction, and all the materials were imported from China. The temple was designed and built according to Chinese temple architectural traditions by skilled Chinese craftsmen, making it the most authentically traditional Chinese temple in Singapore.In 1907, Qing Dynasty Emperor Guang Xu presented to the temple a scroll which was hung over the main altar signboard. Today, the scroll forms part of the National Museum of Singapore Collection.