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25/06/2013

The General Info on Mu Family Mansion

This residence was the home of the Mu Family, the hereditary rulers of Lijiang (best travel destination included in packages of China vacation deals) prefecture through the centuries. The first Mu Chieftan was appointed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), with the main responsibility of controlling the local people and collecting tribute for the Imperial Court. In the Qing Dynasty their role changed from chieftain to chief administrator, but their function essentially stayed the same.


The residence was first built in 1382 and follows the general layout of Ming Dynasty palaces, bearing a resemblance to the Forbidden City. The buildings, however, are influenced by Nakhi and Tibetan architectural styles. The residence was severely damaged by wars during the Qing Dynasty and what stands today was built from 1996-99. Apparently it is a faithful reproduction of the original. The Mu Family Mansion isn’t a particularly fascinating complex compared to similar places in China, but it does boast some lovely gardens. It’s the sort of attraction that you can take or leave.

The Mu Mansion is where the Mu Clan of the Naxi people ruled for over 470 years. During their reign, this residence was the centre of politics, power and wealth in ancient Naxi. Although it is simply a residence, it holds the majestic essence of a palace. In the heyday of the Mu, the residence covered an area of over 100 mu (about 16 acres) and consisted of almost one hundred buildings. It could be said that it was a miniature Forbidden City. Unfortunately during warfare in the Qing Dynasty most of the residence was destroyed. The present day Mu's Residence was rebuilt from 1996-1999. The reconstruction is based on the original site and captures the magnificent image of what life was like at this great palace for popular China travel package.


Mu's Residence today covers an area of 46 mu (about 8 acres) and spans a length of 369 meters (about 404 yards). It sits against the Shizi Mountain (Lion Mountain) and faces east in the direction of sunrise. The residence is made up of two areas: the office area and the living area. Upon entering the gate, one can see Yishi Hall (Meeting Hall) at the end of a vast square. This is the beginning of the office area. Behind the Yishi Hall, there is the Wanjuan Pavilion, 'wanjuan' meaning numerous books. The pavilion houses thousands of sutras and many paintings and calligraphy works of famous scholars. Behind the Wanjuan Pavilion, lies Hufa Hall, the place of sacrificial activities. These main buildings all lie on an axis to the residence. Shizi Mountain can be reached from the rear of the residence.

Open: 8.30am-5.30pm. Admission: 35RMB (Chinese currency converter )

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