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The Chen Clan Academy

chen-clan-academy01 Located right near the Chenjiaci Subway Station, in the western part of the city, and with a floor space of 13,200 square metres in 19 buildings, the Chen Clan Academy is one of the famous historical sites typical of South China architecture.

chen-clan-academyBuilt in 1636 in the late period of the Ming Dynasty with funds raised by the Chen families from 72 countries of Guangdong province, The Chen Clan Academy was a site for worship as well as a place for Chen children to stay while taking imperial examinations in Guangzhou. In the academy, the spacious halls interspaced by countryards and connected by verandas are decorated with a good collection of beautiful and exquisite Guangdong folks arts and crafts. Stone carvings, brick-carvings, lime sculptures, wood-carvings and objects of iron casting can be found everywhere.

Decorations of artistic wood-carvings are especially superb and the twelve big screens in its" Sage-Gathering Hall" appear magnificent and imposing, and can be rated as rare pieces of artistic wood-carvings. Beams and niches in the academy are all decorated with delicate wood-carvings involving various interesting subjects. Wood-carvings of poems and pictures are mainly used to adorn the front-door walls, which seem to from a beautiful art gallery. Vivid in shape and life-like in appearance, the Shiwan ceramic figurines on the eaves all made on themes taken from Chinese historical stories. This noted Ming-dynasty structure, once seriously damaged, has been renovated and restored to its original grandeur. It is the most complete and magnificent artistic structure in Guangdong Province still in existence.