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Ancestral Temple of Chen Family

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  • Horn Carving
    Horn Carving
  • Square Censer Shade
    Square Censer Shade
  • An Arhat Bed of the Qing Dynasty
    An Arhat Bed of the Qing Dynasty
  • Hall of Chen Family House
    Hall of Chen Family House
  • Chen Family Ancestral Temple
    Chen Family Ancestral Temple
  • Chen Family Ancestral Temple
    Chen Family Ancestral Temple
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Occupying an area of 15,000 square meters (about 17,940 square yards), the Ancestral Temple of Chen Family is a fine piece of architecture of Cantonese style, composed of six courtyards, nine main halls, and nineteen buildings. It is considered as one of the four main cultural attractions in Guangdong Province in China with the three others being - 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. 

The Ancestral Temple of Chen Family, given another name called Chen Clan Academy later, was built between 1890 and 1894 during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). The temple was funded by Chen's families in 72 counties of Guangdong province as well as some oversea members of Family Chen. The original function of this construction was to pay tribute to Chens' ancestors, later, it was used as an academy, where the descendants of Chen family lodged at and prepared for the imperial examination. It is now the Guangdong Folk Art Museum. Walking in the temple, you will see a lot of folk artworks and handicrafts, including enameling, embroidery, porcelain, lacquer work and paper cutting, all with a long history. What fascinates most is the traditional Chinese watercolor. As the artist flicks his wrist for several times, a scene of China's past takes shapes. 

What makes Ancestral Temple of Chen Family distinctive is the extensive application of the various techniques just like wood carvings, stone carvings, brick carvings, clay sculpture, ash sculpture, brass and iron foundry, grotto and other forms of art. The sculptural technique expresses simplicity and ruggedness, precision and exquisiteness, each setting off the other. 

The Ancestral Temple of Chen Family abounds with the finely made brick carvings, which represent the highest level of Cantonese brick carvings in the Qing Dynasty. The selection of the quality of the blue bricks is very essential for the brick carvings. Subsequently, the bricks are carved one by one according to the designed pattern. Finally, they are embedded in the wall for the ornamental purpose. Brick carving is a form of art that adorns the wall in a plain and elegant way.    

Stone carvings are mainly used in the parts where gravity dominates and erosion occurs easily, most of the carvings are made of the granite. Chen's stone carvings are a mixture of full relief, low relief, and intaglio. The precise carvings turn the massive stones into light and elegant works of art, which reveals the perfect skills of the folk artisans with the simple tools.

Besides, the carvings made of some other forms can be easily found in the temple. Rhetorical devices such as figure of speech, association, and metonymy were abundantly applied in combining the ornaments together, as a result, signs with different implications reached the agreement with the specific patterns in a picture skillfully, which reflected the best wishes of the humans in quest of the happy life at that time.

All of these auspicious adornments intermingle the intelligence and hard work of the skilled artisans, at the same time, they are the full demonstration of the traditional ideas and value orientation of the people in the feudal society.

 Entrance Fee: CNY 10 (CNY 5 for students); Free on the following days: Jan. 13 , Feb. 24, Mar. 17, Apr. 14, May 18, the Second Saturday of Jun., Jul. 14, Aug. 18, Sep. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 17 & Dec. 15

A .Bus Routes: Take Bus No. 17, 85, 88, 104, 107, 109, 114, 125A, 128, 193, 204, 233, 250, 260, 286, 413, 2 (Night), 27 (Night), 30 (Night), 31 (Night), Toiurism Bus No. 1 & 2, Peak Express 1 & 3 and get off at the Ancestral Temple of Chen Family (Chen Jia Ci) stop;
B. Subway Line: Take Subway Line 1 and get off at the Ancestral Temple of Chen Family station.

 More Top Tourist Attractons in Guangzhou:
Yuexiu Park                       Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall 
Guangxiao Temple            Temple of Six Bayan Trees

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