Chen Clan Academy
While not the oldest or most historically significant sight in Guangzhou, the Chen Clan Academy is definitely one of the most striking attractions in the city. It is rightly considered one of the best tourist attractions in Guangdong Province. Built from 1888-1894 and spread over more than 13000 square meters, the complex is made up of 19 buildings and halls with courtyards between them. The buildings are in the Lingnan architectural style, which is native to the Guangzhou region. Since 1959 the Chen Clan Academy has housed the Guangdong Museum of Folk Crafts which means the buildings are filled with all sorts of interesting sculptures and carvings. But the most stunning thing about the complex is the beauty of the architecture, the intricacy of the wall carvings and the exquisite figurines lining the eaves. Of particular note in the complex are the four meter paintings of the door-gods on the entrance doors and the large wooden screen in the main Juxian Hall.
Amidst all the beauty of the Academy and the artifacts it contains, the history of the Chen Clan themselves seems to be given little attention. According to signs in the complex, however, the Chen Clan were descendants of Shun, one of the legendary Five Emperors of ancient China. At any rate, the Ancestral Hall was built with money donated by Chen Clan descendants from all over Guangdong Province and even overseas.
Admission: ¥10. Open: 8:30-17:30.
Tel: +86 (020) 8181 4559.
Directions: The Chen Clan Academy has its own subway station named after it (Chen Jia Ci [Chen Clan Academy]) on Line 1. Take Exit C from the subway and walk straight to reach the Chen Clan Academy.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去陈家祠, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Chen Clan Academy. Thank you.)