- Learn about the history of China’s Repulican Era in Jianchuan Museum Cluster.
Overview – Anren Ancient Town
Anren Ancient Town is located 39 km (24 mi) west of Chengdu. It was the hometown of Liu Wencai, a Qing dynasty warlord, landowner, and millionaire. His 27 historic mansions have been well preserved and turned into museums. Three ancient streets built during the Republic of China period are still being used today by residents.
The town traces its roots back to the Tang dynasty (618-970AD), however, most of the town is restored to what it looked like in the 1930s. There are three old streets in Anren, Shuren Street, Yumin Street, and Hongxing Street. All of them were built during the Republic of China and were the core area and commercial center of Anren Town.
There are 14 distinctive mansions on the old street, Anren Middle School, Anren Theater, Paoge Building, Tongqing restaurant, and other buildings with characteristics of the Republic of China, forming a vivid picture of an ancient town of China’s Republican Era.
Off the three main Ancient Streets, there are numerous shops selling Chinese antique furniture, stone statues, and rockery.
Liu’s Manor & Museum
Lui’s Manor & Museum were formerly owned by Lui Wencai. It is huge complex of buildings and mansions that were fully completed in the 1930’s.
Liu Wencai is considered one of the most colorful figures in the Sichuan province during the Republic of China (1912–1949) period. He came from a family of landowners and liquor merchants and prospered under the patronage of influential family members in senior government positions.
Liu had good relations with local politicians and military leaders but was also said to have had connections with organized crime and secret societies. Under Liu, peasants were cheated in their lease to live in a state of permanent debt. At the end of the lease, peasants are driven from their homes by Liu, with some being forced to sell their children or recruited into the military. He died in 1949, shortly before the People’s Liberation Army entered Sichuan.
Jianchuan Museum Cluster
One of China’s most fascinating museums. There are totally 15 museums in the cluster, making it the largest private museum cluster in all of China with over 8 million artifacts, mainly from the founder, Dr. Fan Jianchuan’s personal collection, and has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as an example of “the increasing openness about the way recent history is viewed in China.”
The museums cover four main themes:
- Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) – when the Japanese occupied and brutalized China
- Red Era – from the revolution of 1949 to about the 1970s – lots of Mao artifacts and propaganda
- Wenchuan Earthquake – this 2008 earthquake killed over 69,000 people in Sichuan province
- Folklore & Culture
Source: Wikipedia & CNN Travel