The Man Mo Temple is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), both of whom were worshipped by ambitious students looking to succeed in the civil examinations of Imperial China. These involved rigorous systems aimed at finding the best administrative officials for the state.
Built in 1847, this remains the largest Man Mo temple in Hong Kong. To pause for a moment’s respite under its giant hanging incense coils makes for a pleasant contrast with the hectic pace of the nearby financial district.
Man Mo Temple is part of a complex that also includes the areas Lit Shing Kung and Kung Sor. Lit Shing Kung was created for the worship of all heavenly gods, while Kung Sor, built to the temple’s west, was an important assembly hall where community affairs and disputes were often discussed and settled.
In 1908, the temple was officially entrusted to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. It was listed as a Grade I historic building in 2009 and is preserved as Hong Kong continues to grow and change, the vestiges of its rich past serve as reminders of the city’s roots and the events that have shaped its character and people. From centuries-old Chinese structures to 19th century colonial architecture, many of these historical sites are protected as Declared Monuments; a type of preservation order that prevents or restricts modifications to the monument.