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Home Informations Main Attractions Xiguan Civil House

Xiguan Civil House

As a representative architecture of ancient Guangzhou (guǎng zhōu 广州), Xiguan Mansion (xī guān dà wū 西关大屋) showcases strong local architectural characteristics and style from its plane layout, arcade formation, section to trivial decoration. Xiguan (xī guān 西关) was the name given by Guangdong (guǎng dōng 广东) people to the area in Liwan District (lì wān qū 荔湾区) ranging from Xicun (xī cūn 西村) in the north and the Pearl River (zhū jiāng 珠江) in the south, to Renmin Road (rén mín lù 人民路) in the east and Xiaobei River (xiǎo běi jiāng 小北江) in the west, which also generally meant the area beyond the west city gate in the Ming (míng 明, 1368-1644) and Qing (qīng 清) dynasties. In that period there were many unique traditional old mansions and people called them Xiguan ancient mansion, which were the residence for the rich before. It has been an inseparable part of the history of Guangzhou ever since it came into being. However, the number of Xiguan Mansion has dropped from over 800 in its prime in the period between the Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China to 100 at present.

The door decorated with blue polishA normal Xiguan Mansion covers an area of 400 square meters, constructed by wood and bricks. The front door always decorated with granite. When one enters, he will be greeted by the porch, entrance hall (mén tīng 门厅), middle hall (jiáo tīng 轿厅), main hall (zhèng tīng 正厅), the first chamber room (tóu fáng 头房), which is for the old generations of the family, the second hall (èr tīng, 二厅), which is a dining hall, and the second chamber room (èr fáng 二房), which is for the younger The lower single doorgeneration in the family. The living rooms and the kitchen are always deep into the house. In Xiguan Mansion, the sitting room is usually the center, which boosts the highest ceiling, the most spacious room, and the grandest decorations. All the furniture in Xiguan Mansion is made from rosewood. There are woodcarvings, pottery figurines and mural paintings.

All the rooms are connected by corridors, gardens, and yards. Its interior decoration adopts exquisite wood carvings, screens and windows with Man style. In front of the gate, there are blue-brick decorated walls, a lower single door (ǎi jiǎo diào shàn mén 矮脚吊扇门) and a square porch, etc.

The living room in Xiguan MansionThe Xiguan Mansion was so uniquely constructed that the high walls were a break against the sudden downpours and it is good for air ventilation regardless of weather and seasons. On both sides of the mansions, there are corridors which are called Qingyun Corridor (qīng yún xiàng 青云巷). The roads and lanes in front of the Xiguan Mansions are paved by stones, which is a unique characteristic of Xiguan.

In the fast-developing city of Guangzhou with skyscrapers gradually dominating the city with their tall and cold shapes, traditional Xiguan houses are being torn down by property developers too interested in profits to understand the value of what they are destroying. Most of the Xiguan houses that remain today are hidden down some alleyways in the old part of Guangzhou, and to find you'll have to do a little exploring.


Admission Fee: free of charge

Opening Hours: Access all day

Address:Liwan District, Guangzhou

Chinese Address: 广州市荔湾区 西关大屋

How to get there

  • Take bus line 2, line 25, line 55 or line 74 and get off at Duo Bao Lu Kou Station.