Tianhou Temple is a representative component reflecting the Institutional Guarantee of ancient Quanzhou as the world maritime trade emporium. The temple bears witness to the formation and development of Mazu belief amidst maritime trade, and reveals how folk beliefs and the will of the state worked in concert to advance maritime trade. The temple is located on the southern end of the ancient city of Quanzhou, facing the Jinjiang River and the coastal ports to the south. It is dedicated to the worship of Mazu, the sea goddess of Quanzhou, and is a major center for the dissemination of Mazu belief around the world. Tianhou Temple was first built in 1196, originally known as Shunji Temple. As both government bureaucrats and regular citizens in the successive dynasties held Mazu in high reverence, the temple steadily developed and was well maintained. Its layout with a hall at the front and sleeping quarters at the rear, which was already in place before the 16th century, has been preserved to this day. The extant building complex faces southward, featuring a central axisymmetric courtyard layout as a whole. Standing on the central axis are, from south to north, the main gate, the theatrical stage, the worship courtyard, Tianhou Hall, the Bedchamber Hall and the Grooming Building. The central axis is flanked by the east and west wing rooms, side rooms and pavilions; these ancillary structures enclose the courtyard. The temple occupies an area of roughly 6,800 square meters.