Mandarin’s House

Mandarin’s House refers to the large mansion in Macau (Special Administrative Region of China) that belonged to Zheng Guanying’s family. Zheng Guanying was a comprador and a man of letters whose theories and writings on politics greatly influenced the likes of Mao Zedong and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.
The house was first built by Zheng Guanying’s father, Zheng Wenrui and was over time expanded by Zheng Guanying and his brothers. The mansion predominantly carries the Cantonese style of architecture, (the Zheng’s came to Macau from Guangdong, China) with some western elements thrown in.
The 4000 sq.m house comprises:
Entrance gatehouse
Sedan Way
Wenchang Hall & Main Garden
Ronglu Hallway
Front Courtyard
Inner Courtyard and Cloister
Yuqing Mansion
Jishan Mansion
Backgate house
When the family moved out to different locations, the mansion was rented out. Due to neglect and lack of care by the tenants (at one point there were 300 of them!) the mansion was almost ruined. A government initiative has restored the once dilapidated mansion by taking inputs from those that lived there and after studying the existing architecture.
Entrance gatehouse: 12The entrance gatehouse annexe now houses an admissions office and a souvenir shop.
Sedan Way3.pngVisitors who came in their sedan chairs would be dropped off in this open corridor and wait to be invited inside by the masters.
Ronglu Hallway, Wenchang Hall & Main Garden 4Front Courtyard5.pngThe long front courtyard has two beautiful trees – mulberry and star apple and benches for visitors to relax. It gives a fantastic view of the two-level mansion. 6The courtyard is fronted by this beautiful tiled wall that acts as a border of the mansion. Inner Courtyard and Cloister78Yuqing Mansion 9.png10.pngJishan Mansion1112.png14.png15.png16.pngNot sure if you can tell from the pictures, I saw these pole barriers in the house in front of doors and passageways where one end of the pole is shaped into a square and the other end is circular. These poles are anchored in square holes and round holes. Typically the square holes are the bottom and the round holes on top. Very unusual in my opinion!
Backgate house is located at the end of the courtyard and is inaccessible now. There is a door that indicates the back gatehouse.
This 60-room house deserves a visit. It is open every day of the week (except Wednesday) and on public holidays too from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free! It is just off Lilau square in the historic centre of Macau.

2 comments

  1. This sounds like such a fascinating place to explore, and I’d love to learn more about Zheng Guanying – he sounds like a very interesting figure.

  2. […] of St. Paul, walked along the cobbled streets and through a bit of the city and made our way to the Mandarin’s House. That’s how we chanced upon this little gem of a place, Largo do Lilau or in simple English, […]

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