Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Guangzhou, China

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, also known as the Chen Clan Academy was founded in the 14th century of the Guanxu reign (1888) and completed in the 19th century (1893).

The fund came from various clans in Guangdong all with the Chen surname.

It served as short-term accommodation space when members of the Chen clans came to Guangzhou to sit provincial imperial examination, to await postings to other regions, to pay tax or to conduct law suits and other businesses.

Well-preserved and magnificently decorated, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is the largest Lingnan architecture still existing in Guangdong. It covers a total area of 15,000 square meters, with a construction area of 6,400 square meters. Its nineteen individual unites are connected by long corridors, with halls, rooms, pavilions and courtyards neatly arranged to provide comfortable living space.

Praised as the "Pearl of Lingnan Architectural Art", the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a splendid example of decorative schemes on buildings. A great variety of materials and techniques such as wood carving, brick carving, stone carving, stucco relief, pottery figures, iron and copper ornamentation, surface painting and mural are deployed to create the most sumptuous decorative effects. The lively modelling and colorful decoration, produced by superb craftsmanship, prompted Mr. Gua Moruo to write the following poem in praise of the building:

Nature's engineering can be replaced by human creation,
yet human creation cannot be surpassed by natural force.
The human world is created in a way like this,
a visit to this place is better than ten years learning from books.

Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a tourist spot in Lingnan with strong cultural and artistic features. In 1988, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is declared as an important heritage site under State Protection by the State Department. In 2002, and again in 2011, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is one of the top 8 sites of importance in Guangzhou.

In 2006, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is named the "Cultural Representative of Guangzhou City".

In 2008, the National Tourism Bureau awarded the hall the title of AAAA Grade scenic spot.
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