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The Mu Residence

The Old Town of Lijiang owns the laudatory title of historical and cultural town of China and world cultural heritage. And the Mu Residence is a critical piece of the town. From 1523, when the Naxi chieftain was given the surname of Mu in the Yuan Dynasty, 22 generations of Mu chieftains spanning 470 years ruled Lijiang based on a hereditary system. Compared with other chieftains in China’s southwest, they were known for being well-educated.

Located in the southwestern part of the town, its appearances in the Ming Dynasty are magnificent. Xu Xiake from the Ming Dynasty once spoke highly of the compound, “the magnificence of the compound is as splendid as the imperial palace”. It is a pity that most houses were ruined by warfare at the end of the Qing Dynasty. And the stone archway was abolished during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). After an earthquake in 1996, World Bank recognized its value and made a heavy loan for its restoration. Thanks to the exquisite design and hard work by craftsmen , it was rebuilt three years after the quake.

Occupying an area of 46 mu (15 mu is equal to 1 hectare), it has a 368 meter-long axis. It faces the east and the rear facing the sun, which is said to bring prosperity to the compound. On the wooden board, four Chinese characters were inscribed to read, “Tianyuliufang,” meaning getting educated in the Naxi language, showcasing the Naxi people’s respect for knowledge. The archway is a pure three-layered stone works, regarded as one of the best archways in China.

Key Words

Tea   West Lake   

Temple      Su Dongpo 


Fans   Embroidery


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