Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Chenjiaci

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Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is an academic temple in Guangzhou, China, built by the 72 Chen clans for their juniors'accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan's Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Now it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Located at Zhongshan 7th Road, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a symmetric complex consist of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards. Facing south, the complex forms around a north-south axis. A large collection of southern China art pieces, for example, wood carvings and pottery, can be found in the structure.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall complex exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture and decoration style, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments worldwide. It was added in the list of "Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State" in 1988.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is a traditional Chinese academic complex covering 13200 square meters. The complex consists of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards which are connected by corridors and ride north to south in a symmetric pattern. On the main axis lie the Head-entrance, the Gathering Hall and the Back Hall. These three main buildings are separated with courtyards.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Head-entrance is 27.56 meters wide and 14.91 meters deep with 17 columns, all decorated with flowers and figures.On the top of the gate of the Head-entrance hangs a tablet with words "Chen Clan Academy". On the sides of the gate sit stone mats and a pair of 2.25 meter high stone drums.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Gathering Hall was once a place for meeting and worship of the Chen clansmen and now it is used as an ancestral hall. It is 27.84 meters wide and 16.7 meters deep with 21 main beams and 6 carved stone columns.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

In front of the hall lies a stone gazebo surrounded by stone balustrades. Inside the hall sit twelve engraved folding screens. The pottery sculpture on the beams was renovated in 1981.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Memorial tablets of ancestors were placed on a 21-step wooden shelves in the Back Hall, which was once used for worship of ancestors. In the rooms sit 7-meter-high wooden-carved niche covers.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The buildings in the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall are fully decorated with wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving. The content of these decoration are mostly flowers, birds, Cantonese fruits and scenes in traditional dramas.

Chenjiaci, The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is notable for the rich decoration which exist inside, outside the halls and in almost every beams, ridges, walls and columns. This make the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall a large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving.

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