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Ancient Cultural St

Gu Wen Hua Jie, Nankai Qu, Tianjin Shi, China

An Original, Authentic Tianjin Temple (Amid New "Ancient" Culture)

The Queen of Heaven Temple has the somewhat ignoble distinction of being both the only original structure on Ancient Culture Street, and the oldest building in Tianjin. It's a Taoist temple honoring the goddess Tianhou, or Mazu, who is the goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen (also explaining its location, at the confluence of the Grand Canal with the Hai River).

More recently, it has been converted into the Tianjin Folklore Museum. The museum features the temple's original relics and architecture, but also a permanent collection of folk artifacts, Buddhist scriptures, and historical documents. The museum also includes some sideline exhibits on economic history, including the local development of fisheries and salt industries. During festival seasons, traditional dance, performance, and rotating exhibits are on display.