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Shen's House

 

Among the thousand households in Zhouzhuang water town, about sixty percent of residential constructions here are from late Qing Dynasty and early Nationalist periods. The architecture that can best represent Zhouzhuang tradition is Shen's House (沈厅), which is located on Nanshijie Street (南市街). It has about a hundred rooms, which they are in different sizes and distributed along both side of a hundred-meter-long middle axis. Now Shen's House is being the key cultural protection unit in east China's Jiangsu Province.

Shen's House was built in 1742 by Shen Benren (沈本仁), the descendant of Ming Dynasty's businessman Shen Wansan (沈万三). When he was young, it was said that he liked to associate with local bandits. He often drank with these weird people. Shen Benren had preserved the wealth that his famous ancestor attained. He also built Shen's House and bought a parcel of farmland.

Shen's House has three sections, the front section is built along the river, to which Shen's family member could dock their boats and women could wash clothes. This section is very typical of the architectural style in the region of the lower reaches of Yangtze River. The middle section comprises archway, tea hall and main hall, which are for reception of important guests, holding wedding and funeral, or meeting venue. The rear part has living rooms and bedrooms. There are names of houses called Da Tang Lou, Xiao Tang Lou and Hou Ting Wu (which mean Big House, Small House and Rear House respectively).

Tour the Shen's House, you will see many interesting bronze tablets that have the texts and images reproducing the story of the businessman from the Ming Dynasty.

 

 

Shen's House, Zhouzhuang, China

 

 Shen's House, Zhouzhuang, China

 

Shen's House, Zhouzhuang, China

 

Shen's House, Zhouzhuang, China 

 

Shen's House, Zhouzhuang, China

 

 

 

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