The diverse collection of old buildings, colonial churches, monuments and temples enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Historic Centre of Macau” is the evidence of a modernized city packed with a multicultural mix of the East and the West.
Among the architectural legacies of Macau, a very large private residence with more than 60 rooms has just completed its restoration work after 8 years of meticulous efforts since 2002. In fact, with an area of 4000 m2 , the Mandarin’s House is the largest in scale as compared to the existing residences in the territory.
Built in the 19th century, the Mandarin’s House was the ancestral home of Zheng Guanying, a renowned literary figure during the late-Qing, whose ideas and masterpieces had influential impacts on Emperor Guangxu, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as well as Mao Zedong.
Around the ’50s and ’60s, the Zhengs moved out of their ancestral home and the residential complex was rented out to unconcerned tenants. Due to the lack of daily maintenance and building modifications to sardine hundreds of tenants, and worse still, fire attacks that further destructed the house, more than 80% of the architecture was damaged badly when the Macau government got the proprietorship of the property in 2001.
The Mandarin’s House possesses the distinctive characteristics of traditional Guangdong residences with a fusion of architectural influences from other cultures. The spacious compound can be divided into the front and back area. The servants’ quarters, the main garden, the gatehouse, and the connecting building are located in the front area; the masters’ quarters are at the back area.
The Shrine of the Earth God near the entrance of the Mandarin’s House.
The inner courtyard with columns of Western-style plinths.
Windows on the second floor of the mansion.
Looking up from the first floor in the residential complex.
The Main Hall of Yuqing Mansion, which was also the the main building of the Zheng family.
In the past, these wooden doors could be glided.
Wooden furniture with carving of the family name Zheng.
An exquisite folding screen with 12 screen doors.
A contrast between the ancient Mandarin’s House and modern residential buildings in the backdrop.
The Back Gatehouse used to be bigger with a back garden but now the area is occupied by new buildings.
The Main Building of Yuqing Mansion and Jishan Mansion – the entrance has a a flush door, a half door and a horizontal railed shutter. Due to the hot and humid weather in Macau, the horizontal railed shutter could serve as a security barrier and at the same time allow more ventilation.
A residential complex once with a glorious past and later degraded into a sorry state, the Mandarin’s House has finally regained its radiance and found its way on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Address of the Mandarin’s House (郑家大屋): No. 10, Travessa de António da Silva
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (Closed on Wednesday & Thursday).
A maximum of 60 visitors are allowed inside the main building at any one time.
The whole complex can accomodate a maximum of 100 visitors at any one time
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