The Chen Clan Academy ( Chens Ancestral Hall )

The Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, built between 1890 and 1894 during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty, is the largest, best preserved, and best decorated ancient architecture existing in Guangdong province.

It was built with donations of members of the Chen family who lived in the 72 counties of the Guangdong province. After its completion, the temple was used to provide lodgings for Chen family candidates who came from all over Guangdong to in order to prepare for the imperial examinations to be held in Guangzhou. Hence it was also called the Chen Clan Academy.

Occupying an area of 15,000 square meters, the temple, has a rectangular main building and comprises six courtyards, nine main halls, and nineteen buildings. With an architectural design of traditional Guangdong style, the temple is especially renowned for its beautiful decorations. In the temple, historical figures, legends, and scenes are represented in many art forms, including wood carving, brick carving, pottery carving, stone carving, lime carving, clay sculpture, ash sculpture, brass and cast iron, grotto, new year painting, and so on. These artistic and historical attributes make the temple an important attraction in Guangzhou.

In 1986, it was designated as an important cultural relic by the State Council. The temple now is the site of the Museum of Guangdong Folk Arts and Crafts

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