The Old Town of Lijiang owns the laudatory title of historical and cultural town of China and world cultural heritage. And the Mu’s Residence (also called Mufu or Mu Family Residence) is a critical piece of the town. Covering an area of more than 30000 m2, with a central axis of 369 meters long, the entire building faces the east, which could absorb energies from the rising sun.
The Mu’s Residence is the former residence of the Tusi Mu in Lijiang. Tusi is a kind of official position in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties that leaders of minority ethnic groups were appointed hereditarily by emperors of the time.
Throughout its long history, a large amount of the original buildings were damaged during the wars. Luckily, after an earthquake in 1996, the World Bank recognized the value of the Mu’s Residence and made a heavy loan for its restoration. With craftsmen’s careful design and construction, the Mu’s Residence reappears in the world as if a phoenix reborn from the ashes.
Why the Mu’s Residence is special
The Mu’s Residence is basically designed with architectural styles of Han, Naxi, and Bai ethnic groups. Besides, it also combines architecture style of Chinese royal garden and Suzhou garden, which put exotic flowers and rare herbs at its backyard. Xu Xiake, a famous travel writer and geographer of the Ming Dynasty, once spoke highly of the compound, “the magnificence of the compound is as splendid as the imperial palace”.
Mu’s Residence highlights
Stone Memorial Arch of Loyalty
Stone Memorial Arch of Loyalty is a horizontal inscription on the wooden arch reads “Tian Yu Liu Fang”, which embodies the Naxi’s respect for knowledge. The stone arch is made of stones, with three layers. It is an excellent stone construction in the nation.
Yimen Meet Hall
Yimen Meeting Hall which features dignified, spacious, and gorgeous is used as the place for Tusi to discuss official affairs.
Wanjuan Building used as a library to collect the essence of the cultural heritages in the past two thousand years houses thousands of scriptures of the Dongba religion, hundreds volumes of the Tripitaka, poetry anthologies of six poets from the Mu family, calligraphy and painting of many famous calligraphers and painters. All of them are treasures of arts.
In the deep forest of the Lion Mountain, there situated the places for the Mu’s family to worship the Heaven, their ancestors, and the Nature.