Wei’s Manor

(Cont’ from Binzhou page)

Intro

Long story short – the Wei family were en route fleeting from the neighboring Hebai Province to Shandong at the time. They had established businesses in grains, textile and tea. By Wei Zhaoqing’s time, they owned hectares of farmland and many commercial businesses, as well as securing more than 20 government official positions as high as a minister in Beijing.   

Measured at 84m by 46m with its wall as high as 10m, this is the largest and the best preserved private family manor built in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that is open to public. It is a maze to fish through.   Numerous hidden pathways and shooting positions throughout the top wall were built for defense.  This was built when China was in turmoil, busy transitioning itself from imperial rules to republic. What is interesting about this mansion is that at the center of its main entrance stands a big tree 60 years of age. This tree has witnessed the rise and fall of the changes in the Wei family. 

Pay attention to the daughter’s maiden chamber. In Shandong, girls before 17 years old were not allowed to see their partner until the wedding day. To reserve her privacy, food and water were lifted up into window of the restricted living quarters circled by thick walls. Peek through the tiny holes to see if you can capture a glimpse of their shadows.

 

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山东省文化和旅游厅 Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

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