If you ever visit China, plan to see this tourist attraction in Hangzhou. Before 1949, it was the home of a wealthy family but was first owned by Hu Xue-yan (1823-1885). There’s more to Hangzhou than this mansion, but it’s still worth seeing. Watch the 2nd video to discover more about the city.
Hu Xue-yan made his money in banking then expanded into pawn shops, import-export, real estate and made his biggest fortune as the founder of a Chinese herbal medicine company. After he died, his family lost the fortune and sold the house.
The house was built in 1872. After it was renovated in 2008, it was turned into a museum and tourist attraction.
When the Communists won China’s Civil War in 1949, the mansion (covering about two acres) was owned by another family that made its fortune first in the silk industry then banking.
During a visit to Hangzhou, for a few yuan, you will be able to tour most of the mansion and the gardens.
The Hu Xue-yan mansion is in a city with a population of more than eight million, but once inside its walls you have no sense of the crowded city outside. Once the owner was home and the gates closed at night, it was a world-of-tranquility apart from the city.
The city of Hangzhou is more than two-thousand years old and was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279 AD) before Kublai Khan conquered all of China and founded the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368 AD).
There is a famous Chinese saying: “In heaven there is paradise, on Earth there is Su and Hang (Hangzhou – Paradise on Earth).
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