Chen’s Ancestral Temple

Although there are not many places for tourists in Guangzhou, Chen’s Ancestral Temple is the ‘must-see’ spot that the city can proudly boast about. Despite being relatively new in Chinese history (it was built in 1890), the temple is known for its superb art that epitomizes Guangdong folk art. This is the kind of building you can imagine ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’ filming in.

The temple was built for the whole Chen clan by Li Julin during the Qing dynasty. Covering an area of 15,000 square meters it is chock-full of carvings, sculptures and iron castings. It has twenty structures, six courtyards, nine halls, and is heavily decorated. The building is an remarkable condition and shows little sign of wear.

So why do the Chen’s get a temple? The temple actually has a secondary name: the Chen Clan Academy. The reason for this is that all members of the Chen family in Guangdong’s 72 counties donated money to construct a building to provide lodgings for family to prepare for the imperial examinations.

The temple is also home to the Guangdong Folk Art museum, and you can see people producing many handicrafts, including enameling, embroidery, porcelain, lacquer work and paper cutting. One of the most fascinating is the traditional Chinese watercolours. With a few flicks of a wrist, the artist creates a scene from China’s past. You can buy and take home all items here.

Chen Jia Ci Metro station is conveniently next door.

Entrance fee is 15RMB. It takes about 45 minutes to see everything.

Location – 34 En Long Li, Zhong Shan Liu Lu

Chinese: 陈家祠,中山七路恩龙里34号, (show as image)
Directions: Out of Metro Chen Jia Ci Station
Open: 8am-6pm
Phone: +86 20 8181 7371
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