If you ever find yourself in the town of Lugang (often spelled Lukang), located in Changhua County in Taiwan, and happen to have some extra time, then I highly suggest checking out the Lugang Glass Gallery/Museum & Glass Temple (I’ll focus on the glass temple in this blog post).
When I went there, I didn’t have high expectations for the place. In all honesty, I really didn’t know what to expect. But seeing we were in the area, we thought would check it out.
We navigated our way around the empty streets of the Industrial Park late one Sunday afternoon, passing several large factories as we made our way to the glass museum. When we arrived there, all my past thoughts and misconceptions were immediately erased.
The first thing we noticed was a beautifully designed, elaborate glass structure on the premises. After further investigation, it was quite obvious that it was a temple completely constructed out of glass. It was very unique; I have never seen a building designed like it before! And what an extraordinary and modern take on a usually traditional structure!!
During my tour of the temple structure, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the temple volunteers. He offered a wealth of information with regards to the overall structure, the materials used, the building techniques used during construction, the temple design, and the historical meanings behind the roof design and temple interior. He also informed us that the dragons and phoenixes were hard carved by local artisans.
Then I noticed the beautiful glass behind the temple altar. The glass decor that adorns the altar is a scaled down, exact glass replica of Taiwan’s highest mountain, Yushan (Jade Mountain) and the shadows cast on the glass mountain sculpture are the same shadows seen on the mountain at certain points during the day.
And as I looked up, my eyes couldn’t help but notice the large dragon lanterns hanging from the ceiling and winding throughout the entire length of the temple.
It is quite the sight to see the sun seeping through the glass temple at every angle and the way the sunlight struck the mountain decor was magnificent sight.
However, the temple showed its other side at dusk with its multi-colored lights casting shadows on the glass and the small lotus pond located in front of the temple. The lights created a very peaceful and serene effect against the darkness of the night.
After dark, when the museum closed, the place was nearly deserted expect for the volunteer and a few other visitors.
Everything was quiet and tranquil, a type of atmosphere suitable for contemplation and reflection.
I really enjoyed my visit because I got to see the two sides of the temple: its daytime glory of shadows and flooding of light and its dimly lit calmness at night. So if you can time your visit in the late afternoon, I suggest you do so. Then you can experience the temple from both day and night perspectives.
The glass temple is opened early the morning until 10 p.m. at night. Entrance is free.
Part 2 about the glass gallery coming soon. Watch this space!!
Have you ever visited a glass temple?