As China has a long history, vast territory and diverse climate, culture and geology, Chinese architecture varies in styles especially the colorful residences and emphasizes the integration with nature. Jiangnan residence is an essential part of Han traditional residence architecture. Located in Jiangnan areas, Hangzhou, as one the seven capitals of ancient China and the center of politics, culture and economy of Zhejiang Province, still retains many traditional Jiangnan residences.
Join Hangzhou architecture tour to appreciate characteristic Jiangnan residences.
Guo's Villa is situated by the Sleeping Dragon Bridge (卧龙桥) on Yanggong Causeway, right next to the famous “Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden (曲院风荷)”. It is a special garden-like villa featuring elegance and quietness. As it is named after a certain Guo Shilin, it is called Guo’s Villa. Dating back nearly 140 years to the Qing Dynasty, it covers an area of 9,800 square meters.
The villa consists of two sections: the northern section and the southern section.
The northern section is a garden section called Sky in the Mirror (一镜天开). In the center of the section is a pond. And a pavilion on water separates the garden villa into the northern section and the southern section. Both sections are always pleasant to the eye both on sunny days and rainy days.
The southern one is a residential section, called Living in Quietness (静必思). It features a pavilion-style house with a courtyard. The house consists of two halls and two wing-rooms, forming a little courtyard with a golden lily pond in the center. Known as a Zhejiang-style quadrangle, it is where the host used to live and receive guests and friends. The house is furnished in the Qing style.
Address:No.28, Yanggong Causeway, Hangzhou (杭州市杨公堤28号)
Former Residence of Hu Xueyan (胡雪岩故居)
Situated in downtown Hangzhou, the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan is a place to peek into the aristocracy of Hangzhou’s richest merchant, hailing from the Qing Dynasty. It is a maze of towers, gardens, pavilions, terraces, arched bridges, palatial halls and serene living quarters. Several hours spent here will bestow you with cherished memories of ancient Chinese culture manifested by its stunning architecture, philosophy and bewildering folklore customs, which are still alive.
Hu Xueyan (1823-1885), a Hangzhou celebrity, was one of the richest and most famous businessmen in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). He started his business with support from the Governor, Wang Youling. As an early entrepreneur, Hu Xueyan founded businesses in the fields of food, real estate, hock, weapons, silk and traditional Chinese medicine (which subsequently created a famous brand "Hu Qing Yu Tang"). After his success, he donated much money and time to the Qing government. Because of this, Hu was renowned throughout the country and was called the Hongding merchant. His legendary life was mostly related with the destiny of the late Qing Dynasty.
Address:No.18, Yuanbao Street, Hangzhou (杭州市元宝路18号)
Hefang Street (河坊街)
Hefang Street is one of the best preserved urban areas of ancient Hangzhou and a snapshot of the city's history.
Hangzhou was China's capital during the Southern Song Dynasty more than 800 years ago, and Hangzhou’s urban Hefang Street has many shops, restaurants and taverns that represent its place in history. Hefang Street has stood the test of time, surviving through the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Today it is still a prosperous marketplace. Most of the businesses and shops at Hefang Street are over 100 years old.
Hefang Street also showcases a variety of unique Chinese crafts, such as land-blown sugar candy, paper-cutting and hand-made dough figurines. You’ll also find a large variety of local snacks, such as roasted walnuts and "dragon-whisker" candy. The street is full of art hawkers, candy sculptors, pillow shops, caricaturists, old-fashioned movie players, storytellers, bonsai shops, teahouses, and an array of small eateries, making Hefang Street come alive with charm and whimsy.
Southern Song Imperial Street (南宋御街)
Southern Song Imperial Street is a main avenue paved in the Southern Song Dynasty. According to documentary records, more than 10,000 flagstones were used. The street stretches from the intersection of Wansong Mountain and Phoenix Hill Road , passing through Zhongshan Road M. and N., to the intersection of Fengqi Road and Wulin Road, and was once the central axis of Linan city in the Southern Song Dynasty, as long as 4185 meters. It was also the specific road for emperors to worship ancestors.
There are 13 historical and cultural relics and buildings. The Phoenix Temple is a key national cultural relic protection unit.