The Chen Clan Academy is also kown as the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family or Chen's Lineage Hall which was a place both for offering up sacrifices to ancestors and for study. Now it serves as Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts to show the most characteristic Guangdong architecture. The Chen Clan Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou City, the Ancestors' Temple in Foshan City, the former Residence of Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan City and the Opium War Memorial Hall in Dongguan City are regarded as the four major cultural tourist sites in Guangdong Province.
History of the Chen Clan Academy
Chen Clan Academy was built between 1890 and 1894 during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing dynasty. It was built with donations of the Chen family then spread in 72 counties in Guangdong province. The temple used to provide lodgings for candidates of the Chen family who came to Guangdong to prepare for imperial examinations in Guangzhou. With a history of more than 100 years and still in its original shape, now it is the largest, best preserved, and best decorated ancient architecture existing in Guangdong province.
Features of the Chen Clan Academy
Chen Family Temple used to provide lodgings for candidates of the Chen family who came to Guangdong to prepare for imperial examinations in Guangzhou. This temple is a symmetric complex consisting of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards. Two main courtyards of them are quite main buildings. The front one was used for study of the Confucian classics while the back one housed a temple to the ancestors of the Chen clan. In 1986, it was designated as an important cultural relic by the State Council. The temple is now the site of the Museum of Guangdong Folk Arts and Crafts. The scenes depict stories from Chinese literature and folklore and include real and mythical animals. The whole complex now houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum showing Chinese handicrafts, and is remarkably well-preserved. The cultural revolution did little damage to it.
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is notable for the rich decorations 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. 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.
• Address: 34 En Long Li, Zhong Shan Liu Lu, Guangzhou 510150, China
• Opening hours: 8:00 am-5:30pm
• Recommended time to stay: More than 3 hours
• Phone Number: +86 20 8181 7371
• How to go to Temple of Chen Family: take Metro Line 1 and get off at Temple of Chen Family Station and get out through Exit D.