Gaogang Diaohua Mansion

Updated: Jul 13, 2023 etaizhou.gov.cn Print
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An elegant corner of Diaohua Mansion [Photo provided to etaizhou.gov.cn]

A merchant, who once gained his fortune by operating passenger and cargo transportation along the Yangtze River, built an exquisite building in a port town in today's Taizhou Medical High-tech Zone – located in Taizhou city, in East China's Jiangsu province – during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to Republic of China (1912-49) periods.

The square-shaped complex was built to the east and consists of two main two-story buildings with five rooms in the front and the back, respectively, and three wing rooms on the left and three on the right. In the center there is a patio, so it is also called "quadrate mansion". It is one of only three such carved buildings that exist today in Jiangsu province.

The mansion was listed as a cultural relics site under provincial protection in 2002. In December 2020, it was named as an overseas Chinese cultural exchange base in Jiangsu.

The woodwork of the mansion covers a wide range of design patterns, such as natural landscapes, figures, flowers, insects, fish and animals. There are also ones with traditional Chinese elements, including the gods Fu, Lu and Shou, who respectively represent luck, fortune and longevity, as well as Chinese literati and hermits, folk stories and scenes of pastoral life.

The craftsmen used many techniques, ranging from surface carving to hollowing out, bas-relief and high relief. The mansion features carvings using ideas from ancient Chinese philosopher Zhou Dunyi's essay Ode to the Lotus Flower, the famous poem on chrysanthemums by the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420) poet Tao Yuanming and many historical and classic Chinese stories.


A night view of Gaogang Diaohua Mansion (center). [Photo provided to etaizhou.gov.cn]

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