The doors of the temple separate the space of the secular world from the sacred space. Before the worshippers enter Guandu Temple, they have to the gate of four columns, with a plaque inscribed ‘Guandu Temple’. Broadly speaking, outside of gate is the secular world. When you enter Shanmen, the space is a solemn and peaceful religious dimension. Next, the worshippers would see the most magnificent five-door hall. The main doors from outside to inside include: independent Sanchuan door and the wing doors at both sides (dragon door and tiger door), and other doors to the other spaces (Mazu Hall, Guanyin Buddha Hall, Lord Wenchang Hall, King Yanping Hall, Ancient Buddha Pit, God of Prosperity Pit, Bhaiṣajyaguru Hall, Guangdu Temple, Merit Hall, etc.).
We can also tell the rank of the divinity of the gods in the temple according to the number of doors. Generally speaking, the number of doors is in odd number, one, three, five, or seven. The divinity of Matsu is ranked as empress. According to ancient rites, Mazu Hall is with five doors and three halls. The halls for other general or officer level gods are three doors at most. The hall for the god of the lowest rank such as Earth God would only have one door. Like the old saying goes, ‘Earth God, three walls.’
Traditional windows are composed of three components: ‘aperture’, ‘frame’, and ‘lattice’. In Guandu Temple, you can see windows of two different traditional styles: ‘wooden windows’ and ‘tile windows’. Brick windows can be divided into two types: ‘glazed tile windows’ and ‘bamboo windows made of stones’. Over the walls are six stone windows in the shape of bagua.
On the stone carvings at both wings are a pair of stone carving windows in openwork carving. We can see presentation of similar techniques at King Yanping Hall and the entrance of Ancient Buddha Pit. The shapes of the frame include rectangles, squares, circles, and bagua shaped, etc. The theme of the carvings varies from figures, dragon tigers (chi-hu), dragons, and tigers, etc., symbolizing different stories of good fortune. Traditional architecture is diverse and connotes profound meanings.