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Chen Clan Temple

Located on North Zhongshan Road of Guangzhou, the Chen Clan Temple tooks seven years to built the temple from 1888, the 14th year of Emperor Guangxu of Ch'ing Dynasty, to1894. The Chen clans raised funds to built the temple from 72 counties of Guangdong Province, which is to help the family members coming to Guangzhou for the Keju exam ("the civil service exam system in ancient China") and have a place to stay. This is why the temple also called "the Chen Clan Lyceum".

The gate of the temple is facing south. There is a large square in front of the gate -- it has four courtyards. The main constructions are all 80 x 80 meters. It occupied 13,200 square meters including nine halls and six yards. The main hall is 2.7 meters wide and 12.75 meters long with front and rear corridors.

The Juxian Hall is the center of the temple, where the family members used to meet. There are a 4 meters high colorful painting portrait of Gate Spirit and blue brick walls in its gate. On both sides of the gate, there are tow stone cannons. In front of the cannons, there is a 2.55 meters high stone drum. The temple is a typical construction style of Guangdong area.

There are exquisite decoration inside and outside: carved wood, carved stone, carved brick, carved pottery, wall painting and statues made up of copper and iron. The designs and the decorations make the temple looks splendid and elegant. Wooden artwork is the most vivid one.

You can see the general is sitting on a Copper Sparrow Stand and looking at the soldiers. Many flowers, fruits and birds are carved with stones, when you walk in it make you feel as if you are going into the tropic. Going through the temple, you will find splendid carved stone everywhere: on the corridors, railings and stairs, among them, the stone lions are the typical decorate style of Guangdong.

In 1905, the imperial court stopped the Keju Exam so that the temple changed into a school. From then on, the Wenfan School, the Sports College of Guangdong, and the Juxian Middle School were open there. In 1950, the Administrator School of Guangzhou was open in the temple.

In 1957, it became an important protection monument of ancient relics listed by the local government of Guangzhou. Because of its splendid art of construction, the temple became a museum of Guangdong Nationality Arts in 1959. In 1960, it became the essential protection monument of ancient relics of Guangdong Province. In 1988, it became an important protection monument of ancient relics listed by the State.

Edited by Athena Lee
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