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The House Group of the Cai Family – Amazing Historic Architecture in Quanzhou

The House Group of the Cai Family is a well-preserved residential complex in the heart of Quanzhou City. It was built during the Ming Dynasty as the residence of the wealthy Cai family, one of the most influential families in Quanzhou’s history. Get a taste of the traditional Chinese architecture and Quanzhou’s rich cultural heritage.

 

The House Group of the Cai Family Facts

  • Location: Zhangli Village, Guanqiao Town, Nan’an City, Quanzhou, Fujian Province
  • Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM (closed on Mondays)
  • Tickets: CNY 30 each
  • Time needed: About 1-2 hours
  • Recommended time to visit: all year round
  • Suited to: anyone interested in Quanzhou’s history and culture

 

Overview of the House Group of the Cai Family

The House Group of the Cai Family, also known as the Ancient House Group of the Cai Clan, is a complex group of traditional red-brick civil buildings in South Fujian style.

It was constructed during the late Qing Dynasty mostly by Cai Qichang and his son Cai Zizhen. The two of them were wealthy overseas Chinese businessmen and philanthropists who returned from the Philippines.

The House Group of the Cai Family is massive in size, covering an area of over 24,000 square yards (20,000 square meters). It 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.

You’ll find intricate carvings of wood, stone, clay, and brick, blending Chinese and Western cultures. The House Group of the Cai Family is a significant maritime silk road heritage of Quanzhou.

Quanzhou The House Group of the Cai Family
The House Group of the Cai Family

What to See and Do at The House Group of Cai Family

The House Group of the Cai Family has several courtyards, each with a unique architectural style and functions. There are intricate carvings, sculptures, and decorations everywhere, on the walls, roofs, and pillars. Here are some major parts of the residence complex.

1. The Main Hall

The main residence of the Cai family is a three-story building with a large central courtyard. It is heavily decorated with wood carvings and paintings. Look out for the pavement tiles with different types of flowers. It reflects how detailed the architecture of the complex is.

2. The Eastern and Western Wings

The two separate groups of buildings were for entertaining guests. The individual buildings are connected with granite-tiled pavements. Displays of intricate sculptures and decorations showcase status and wealth of the Cai family.

3. The Rear Garden

The garden has a pond, various rock sculptures, and a variety of plants and flowers. Immersive yourself in the historic buildings and peaceful atmosphere.

 

Best Time to Visit the House Group of the Cai Family

The House Group of the Cai Family is open year-round, but the best time to visit are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) considering the mild weather. During these seasons, you can have a nice walk around the complex and avoid the tourist crowds.

 

Attractions Nearby The House Group of Cai Family

Licheng District, where the House Group of the Cai Family is located, has several other historical and cultural sites. Here are some of the nearby attractions to include in your Quanzhou tour.

  • Kaiyuan Temple is a famous Buddhist temple that dates back to the Tang Dynasty. It is the largest temple in Fujian Province. It’s known for its magnificent size, architecture, and history.
  • Quanzhou Maritime Museum showcases the city’s maritime history and culture as a major trading hub. Quanzhou was once a thriving port city along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. You’ll find various ship models, ships, and many cultural relics uncovered from excavations.
  • Qingjing Mosqueliterally means the pure and clean mosque in Chinese. It is the oldest existing Islamic Mosque with an Arabic architectural style in the region.

 

Getting to The House Group of the Cai Family

The House Group of the Cai Family is easily accessible by public transportation. Take bus routes 7, 9, or 19 to Canghou Lane stop and then walk for about 5 minutes to reach the complex. Or you can take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the complex.

 

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