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Home > Hangzhou Attractions >Huxueyan former residence

Huxueyan former residence

Huxueyan former residence
The former residence of Hu Xueyan is probably the best preserved late Qing Dynasty residences in the city. Hu Xueyan was a famous businessman and founder of the Huqing Yutang Traditional Medicine Store (one of the two most renowned in the country). It was built in the 11th year (1872) of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi at enormous expense (100,000 taels of silver). There is a lot going on in this seemingly little area just across the road from the Drum Tower.

There are three sections: The middle section was for reception and consultations; the eastern section was for pleasure and relaxation; and the western section was for living. The house was Chinese style, with many pavilions, booths, bridges, rockeries, but bigger and more luxurious: ingenious brick engraves, wood
engraves, stone graves scattered many where; many high class trees like purple sandalwood, gingko decorated the courtyard. The whole architecture was artfully designed and distributed, and considered the No. 1 house owned by merchant in late Qing Dynasty.Within the 1.78 acres of space, the former residence boasts 13 towers, Zhiyuan Garden, pavilions, terraces, a small bridge over a flowing stream and bright verandas, all ingeniously designed. The rockery in the Zhiyuan Garden is
the largest artificial karst cave in China. The splendid house, an excellent example of late Qing Dynasty architecture, was built using a great quantity of high-grade timber, such as red sandalwood, ginkgo, hoop pine and Chinese beech. The nearly 55-foot rockery in the Zhiyuan Garden (built to honor Hus father) is the largest artificial karst cave in China.
Huxueyan former residence

Today, the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan serves as a historical museum and folk handicraft museum with many fine arts and crafts preserved including wood carvings, brick carvings, stone carvings, and painted sculptures of high historical and art value. As well, many precious calligraphic works by Zheng Ban Qiao (a famous painter and poet of the Qing Dynasty) and Tang Bohu (a famous painter of the Ming Dynasty) are memorably showcased in the residence.

Background Information

Hu Xueyan, the most famous and successful merchant in China during the 1870s and 1880s, was born to a poor family of Anxi in the Anhui Province in 1823. His life story is rather legendary. Initially, he worked as a clerk in a small money house. He soon became the boss of the house through his diligent hard work and intelligence. Later on, he expanded his own business into the real estate, medicine, armament, and silk industries through associating with high government officials such as General Zuo Zongtang. He was so rich and powerful that he provided funds for the general to crush the rebellion in Yili of Xijiang, and he also played a crucial part in the Westernization Movement. Because of his noticeable contributions to the Qing Empire, Hu Xueyan was conferred to a high official position by Empress Dowager Cixi in 1875, putting him mainly in charge of the financial and civil administration of Hangzhou. In the 9th year of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911), Hu Xueyan found himself heavily in debt due to business failure and he was relieved of his post by the Qing government. Tragically, he died sorrowfully a year later. Since then, however, the great Hu Xueyan has been recognized as one of the top Chinese entrepreneurs with high official positions.

Admission: 30RMB
How to get there:
18, 8, 13, 308, and Y6 Plz get off the Huxueyan former residence Station


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