The Temple of Five Lords (Five Officials' Temple or Wugong Ci in Chinese), are approximately 5 kilometers (about 3.1 miles) from the centre of Haikou City, and were originally constructed during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was renovated on several occasions during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Now, it is a place known for its sense of peace, tranquility and beauty.
After many years of renovation and development, the existing Temple of Five Lords are now an attractive ancient architectural complex that mainly include the Five Lords Ancestral Hall, the Sugong Memorial Temple, Hairui and Fubo memorial temples, Guanjia Tang (Watching Crop Hall) and Xuepu Tang (Studying Hall). They cover an area of about 2,800 square meters (about 0.69 acres).
The Five Lords Ancestral Hall is the main part of this building complex and is considered to be "the No.1 Building in Hainan" even though it is only a two-storied wooden building. This was constructed to commemorate the five famous officials- Li Deyu, Li Gang, Zhao Ding, Li Guang and Hu Quan who were banished to Hainan during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The main hall houses the vivid and lifelike stone statues of the five prestigious officials. On the inner pillars, there are two much praised couplets which visitors, having learnt about the background of the five officials, cannot help but admire. Additionally, a stone tablet that is carved with calligraphy inscriptions of Emperor Huizong, from the Song Dynasty, is also displayed in the temple.
The Sugong Temple, located in the east of Temple of Five Lords, is another fascinating destination. Su Dongpo was one of the greatest poets of the Song Dynasty. He dug two springs for the locals when he heard that they were finding it difficult to get water supplies. Hence the local people constructed a temple to commemorate his contribution to their community. One of the springs still exists even to this day.
On the right of the Temple of Five Lords, there is a peaceful yard where fresh flowers and thriving trees are planted. There are two main buildings here. One, the Xuepu Tang (literally Gardening Study Hall), is the old site where the famous scholar Guo Wanxiang often gave lectures. The other is Wugong Jingshe (West Hall), which is where the students of the Hainan Province, (at the end of the Qing Dynasty) learned historical works and poems.
If you want to know more about the famous people in the history of Hainan Province, you can visit the museum which is opposite the Temple of Five Lords. The exhibits in the museum will definitely fulfill your appetite for knowledge.