Lingnan culture

Lingnan culture (嶺南文化) refers to the culture of Guangdong and the nearby provinces in southeastern China, consists of Cantonese culture, and Teochew culture, Hakka culture. It is the subject of research at institutions such as the Center for Lingnan Culture. It is typically contrasted with that of China's northern plains (Zhongyuan).


Old-fashioned shops (tong-lau) in Wan Chai are typical examples of Lingnan architecture, comparable to those found in Guangzhou and Taipei. Attached to the second storey from the pavement, numerous pillars were built in front of the closed stores.

Lingnan architecture is concentrated at Xiguan. Built at the end of the Qing Dynasty, Baomo Garden is located at Zini Village near Shawan town of Panyu and is a fine example of classical Lingnan architecture. Once inside, exotic buildings, gardens, hills, lakes and bridges are found - a place that reveals interplay between nature's art and man-made art in forms of sculptures and edifices, which boast intricate clay, porcelain, brick, wood and stone carving. Chen Clan Temple is another representative of Lingnan architecture. The Temple was built in the sixteenth year (1890) of Guangxu Emperor of the Qing Dynasty and served as an academy for Chen families in 72 counties of the Guangdong Province. It comprises all sorts of folk architectural and decorative arts, and is famous for its "Three Carvings" (stone, wood and brick carvings), "Three sculptures" (ceramic sculpture, clay sculpture and colorful sculpture) and "One cast" (cast iron). Therefore, it is called the best of all the clan temples in neighbourhood.

Today, some building elements of Lingnan architecture are adapted in constructions of commercial districts in Guangzhou. In streets like Beijinglu Commercial Street, Zhongshan Wulu Road and Hui Fulu Road, old-fashioned shops of Lingnan architecture are found in heaps. Attached to the second storey from the pavement, numerous pillars were built in front of the stores. Similar building styles are still common in some torn-down areas both in Hong Kong (Tong-lau) and Taipei.

See also

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