In Guangzhou many historical Lingnan architecture are well preserved. Lingnan architecture has gone through several stages: academies and ancestral halls from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Xiguan Mansion and arcades from the late Qing Dynasty, Western style buildings with around 100 years history, the modern buildings blending Chinese and Western style after liberation.
Tang Xiaoxiang is a doctoral supervisor and a professor of the School of Architecture, South China University of Technology. He is also a leading expert in architectural aesthetics in China. Want to know the beauty of culture in Lingnan architecture? He has all the answers.
Tang points out that it’s very important to pay attention to both the style and features of a building as well as its historical and cultural background. Take Yongqing Fang for example, millstone path, three-ply door and Manchu-style stained glass window reflect the basic style of traditional residence.
Here are the Lingnan architecture recommended by Tang for you to explore in Guangzhou.
◎ Chen Clan’s Academy
Chen Clan’s Academy (or Chen Jia Ci) is an academic temple in Guangzhou built by 72 Chen clans for their juniors’ accommodation and preparation for the imperial exams in 1894 in the Qing Dynasty. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Currently it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.
Because of its historical and art value, it was named a national key cultural relics protection unit by the State Council in 1988 and elected as one of the New “Eight Top Scenic Spots in Guangzhou” in 2002, a national AAAA-rated tourist attraction in 2008. Come here to get a real dose of Chinese culture.
Nearby metro station: Chen Clan Academy Station, Line 1
◎ Western-style buildings in Dongshankou
Dongshankou area is home to the largest collection of Western-style architecture in Guangzhou. Buildings featuring red bricks, white porches, and ochre doors and windows cover this genteel neighborhood. Each of these historic buildings has its unique story of honorable families or well-to-do politicians. Chunyuan, Jianyuan, Kuiyuan and Mingyuan are ideal sites to visit to capture the charm of the architecture from the Republic of China period.
Nearby metro station: Dongshankou Station, Line 1 or 6