Guangzhou, China – The Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family in Guangdong province’s Guangzhou city is now a tourist attraction in China.
According to history, a man named Chen received the third-highest imperial commendation during the late stages of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He would become the man that made the Chen family well-known.
Later, the family raised money to build the temple and encouraged their offspring to study hard. Chen’s family, who hailed from 72 counties in the province as well as those overseas donated the funds needed to complete the Chen family ancestral temple.
Located in Liwan district, the temple is also known as Chen Clan Academy or Chen’s Lineage Hall. It was built in 1894 by the Chen family. The temple back then was used to make sacrificial offerings to ancestors. People also studied its intricate architecture and Chen era culture. The temple’s original porcelain, wood and other craftsmanship still line walls and roofs to showcase the splendours of the ancient Chen dynasty.
The temple has been converted into the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum after it had undergone a restoration process due to damage from a typhoon three decades ago.
Today, the temple is regarded as one of four major tourist sites in Guangdong.
The temple’s complex consists of nine halls, six courtyards, 19 smaller buildings connected by corridors and four walls separating the outside world.
A pair of 2.55 metre high stone drums and two four-metre paintings of door god daily welcome visitors. These are said to be the best in Guangdong.
At the centre of the complex lies the Juxian Hall, which was once a place for clansmen to assemble before the temple was fully established. Today the structure is used as an ancestral hall and in front of it is a stone gazebo surrounded by stone balustrades. Within the hall is an exquisitely carved folding screen.
However, the most impressive attractions are the wooden and stone carvings stored within the temple’s complex. These symbolise great achievements in Guangdong’s craftsmanship. Stories of celebrities throughout history and natural sceneries are also vividly represented.