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Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family

The Chen-family Ancestral Temple is located on Zhongshan 7 Road of Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province.

The Chen-family Ancestral Temple, also known as the Chenshi Academy, was built between the 16th year (1890) and the 20th (1894) year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The famous ancestral temple was jointly built by people whose family name was Chen of the 72 counties in Guandong Province during the late Qing.

The Chen-family Ancestral Temple covers an area of 8,000 square meters. Each row of its constructions is separated with courts and connected with porches and corridors. Altogether, the imposing, symmetrical temple contains nine halls and six courts. The Juxian Hall, built on the central axis, is the main hall and also the center of the whole temple. A broad stone platform was built in the front of the hall. The Juxian Hall was originally a gathering place for clansmen of the Chen family and later became an ancestral hall.

The constructions of the Chen-family Ancestral Temple are famous for their ornate decorations and sumptuous furnishings. Various kinds of decorations, such as wooden, stone, brick, clay, pottery and iron carvings, can be found everywhere -- on eaves, in halls and yards, and along corridors. In front of the temple are six, huge brick carvings, each several meters in length. The carved walls were built using black bricks, layer upon layer, to form solid and multi-layered pictures depicting legends, landscapes, gardens, flowers, birds and beasts. The Chen-family Ancestral Temple was rebuilt into the Guangdong Folk Art Gallery in 1958.

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