Located in the heart of Quanzhou, the House Group of the Cai Family is a well-preserved residential complex that showcases traditional Chinese architecture and culture. Originally built during the Ming Dynasty, the complex was the residence of the wealthy Cai family, one of the most influential families in Quanzhou’s history. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction that offers visitors a glimpse into Quanzhou’s rich cultural heritage.
- Fast Facts of The House Group of Cai Family
- Location: Zhangli Village, Guanqiao Town, Nan’an City, Quanzhou, Fujian Province.
- Opening time: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM (closed on Mondays).
- Ticket price: 30 RMB per person.
- Time Needed: Approximately 1-2 hours.
- Best time to visit: all year round
- Suited to: History and culture enthusiasts.
Overview of the House Group of the Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family, also known as Cai’s Ancient Dwellings, is a collection of traditional red-brick civil buildings in the South Fujian style located in Zhangli Village, Guanqiao Town, Nan’an City, Quanzhou, Fujian Province.
Constructed during the late Qing Dynasty by overseas Chinese who returned from the Philippines, the complex was primarily built by Cai Qichang and his son Cai Zizhen, both of whom were wealthy businessmen and philanthropists.
Covering an area of over 20,000 square meters, the House Group of the Cai Family comprises more than 100 buildings, including ancestral halls, temples, pavilions, gardens, and residences, making it the largest and the best-preserved Minnan folk house cluster in Fujian Province.
This architectural masterpiece features intricate carvings of wood, stone, clay, and brick, reflecting the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures, as well as the maritime silk road heritage of Quanzhou.
What to See and Do in The House Group of Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family comprises several courtyards, each with its own unique architectural style and features. Visitors can explore the complex and marvel at the intricate carvings, sculptures, and decorations that adorn the walls, roofs, and pillars of the buildings. Some of the key attractions include:
The Main Hall:
A three-story building that was the main residence of the Cai family. It features a large central courtyard and is decorated with exquisite wood carvings and paintings.
The Eastern and Western Pavilions:
Two separate buildings were used for entertaining guests. They offer stunning views of the surrounding gardens and are adorned with intricate sculptures and decorations.
The Rear Garden:
A tranquil oasis that features a pond, rock formations, and a variety of plants and flowers. It is the perfect place to relax and unwind after exploring the complex.
Best Time to Visit The House Group of Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) considering the mild and comfortable weather. During these seasons, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and avoid the crowds that often flock to the complex during the peak summer months.
Attractions Nearby The House Group of Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family is located in the Licheng District, which is home to several other historical and cultural attractions. Some of the nearby attractions include:
- Kaiyuan Temple: A famous Buddhist temple that dates back to the Tang Dynasty.
- Quanzhou Maritime Museum: A museum that showcases Quanzhou’s maritime history and culture.
- Qingjing Mosque: A well-known Islamic mosque that reflects Quanzhou’s diverse cultural heritage.
Getting to The House Group of Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family is easily accessible by public transportation. Visitors can take bus routes 7, 9, or 19 to the Canghou Lane stop and then walk for about 5 minutes to reach the complex. Alternatively, visitors can take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the complex.