Nanhai God Temple is a key cultural relic site under state protection, as well as a national 4A-level scenic spot. It is located at Miaotou in Huangpu district of Guangzhou. It was built during the 14th year of the reign of the first emperor of the Sui dynasty (594AD), and is where the emperors offered sacrifices to the God of the Sea. It has a history of more than 1400 years.
Nanhai God Temple is the greatest and best preserved of China’s four sea god temples. It played an important role in foreign transportation and trade and witnessed many historical moments in those areas. It is also the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road. The temple is located at the marine outfall of the Pearl River, where ships from around the world on their way to or leaving Guangzhou would stop to offer sacrifices to the sea god, praying for a safe voyage. Emperors during and after the Sui and Tang Dynasties sent officials to the temple to hold sacrificial ceremonies, leaving many precious stele inscriptions, so Nanhai God Temple is also called the Forest of Steles in the South.
The temple occupies an area of more than 30,000 square meters. Along the central line from south to north stand in sequential order a memorial arch, the main gate, the ceremonial gate, a worship hall, the grand hall, and the Zhaoling Hall, all surrounded by other buildings; on the Zhangqiu Mound west of the temple is Yuri Pavilion in which there are steles of poems written by Su Dongpo and Chen Baisha. In ancient times, it was the best place to enjoy brilliant sunrises over the ocean. The scenery of “Fuxu Yuri” ranked first among the eight representative scenic spots in Guangzhou during the Song and Yuan dynasties.