a morning at mu’s mansion

Saturday, February 7:  When we first arrived in Lijiang, Merry at our hotel told us we should visit “Moose Mansion.”  She gave us some tickets to get in and told us if we used them we could pay her for them at a discounted price.  If we didn’t use them, we could just return them to her.  We wondered about this “Moose” Mansion; we had no idea what it was or whether it was a worthwhile place to visit.  Other places seemed more appealing, so we kept putting it off.

Today, Alex and I plan to rent bicycles, although we aren’t sure where to do so; we think it might be nice to ride the bicycles to Baisha, an ancient village with some famous frescoes, and Shuhe, a town along the ancient tea route that some of my colleagues recommended highly.  Before we do this, though, we think we’ll drop by the mysterious mansion, what finally discover is called Mu’s Mansion. I’ve finally seen on the map the proper name of the mansion, although we’ve been calling it “Moose Mansion” all this time.  We head out into the streets of Lijiang, where we come upon this interesting fire engine, perfect for the pedestrian-only streets of the old town.

a Chinese-style fire truck for pedestrian streets in Lijiang

a Chinese-style fire truck for pedestrian streets in Lijiang

As we walk, we see cozy and inviting restaurants along the way.

cute restaurant

cute restaurant

According to ChinaTravelRUS: Mu’s Residence:  The Mufu (Mu’s Mansion) is Lijiang’s ancient ruler Mu’s official residence. Mu received his officials in this palace and although it was basically a residence, it also served as the center of politics, power and wealth in ancient Naxi. Mu was a ruler of Ming dynasty who commissioned this mansion to be built in exactly the same style as the Forbidden City.

I’ve been to the Forbidden City;  I like this complex more because of its beautiful grounds.

Entrance to Mu's Mansion

Entrance to Mu’s Mansion

The mansion was destroyed in the 1870s by warfare in the Qing Dynasty, but it was reconstructed, from 1996-1999 by the World Bank, along the lines of the original. It showcases an eclectic mix of Naxi, Bai and Tibetan architecture.

Mu's Mansion

Mu’s Mansion

The eight acre complex faces east and has Shizi Mountain, also known as Lion Mountain, at its back. Mu’s Mansion has two major parts, namely a living area and an office area.

The portions of the architectural complex include Guangbi Building, the Stone Memorial Arch of Loyalty, Hufa Hall, Sanqing Hall, Yimen Meeting Hall, Yuyin Lou, Wanjuan building, and many yards, corridors, rooms, side halls, and rest rooms.

flying eaves

flying eaves

flying eaves & lanterns

flying eaves & lanterns

lion protector

lion protector

Alex is especially interested in the weapons we find in the main hall.  Like many boys, he and my other son Adam have been fascinated by weapons since they were little.

weaponry

weaponry

Mu’s seat of power looks very impressive with its chair draped in a tiger skin.

Mu's seat of power

Mu’s seat of power

The Ming vases flanking his seat are iconic Chinese.

Ming vases

Ming vases

I always love colorful pavilions.  In the shade of this one, Alex hams it up for the camera.

Alex in the corridor

Alex in the corridor

I find the colorful architectural detail on the underside of the flying eaves so intricate and elegant.

rooftops

rooftops

another building in Mu's complex

another building in Mu’s complex

on the grounds of Mu's Mansion

on the grounds of Mu’s Mansion

The grounds are beautiful too, with pathways leading through gardens, ponds and bamboo groves.

pathway

pathway

another traditional building on the grounds

another traditional building on the grounds

bamboo

bamboo

It is such a lovely day to be walking around such a gorgeous place.  I find plenty of opportunities to take pictures, so we linger here a long time.

tree and traditional builiding

tree and traditional builiding

flying eaves

flying eaves

reaching to the stars

reaching to the stars

layers & layers of rooftops

layers of rooftops

Of course, Alex has to do his signature handstand for posterity.

Alex upside down

Alex upside down

Inside one hall, we find what I believe are replicas of the Baisha frescoes, some of which we will see this afternoon in Baisha.

frescoes

frescoes

a copy of the Baisha fresco?

a copy of the Baisha fresco?

hall of frescoes

hall of frescoes

sea of blue

sea of blue

yellow flags

yellow flags

We head up the hill behind the mansion, where we can see the rooftops of Lijiang Ancient Town.

rooftops of Lijiang Ancient Town

rooftops of Lijiang Ancient Town

flying eaves and yellow flags

flying eaves and yellow flags

I love the ponds and weeping willows.  I bet it’s really beautiful when the willows are green.

ponds in the complex

ponds in the complex

serene ponds

serene ponds

ponds & pavilions

ponds & pavilions

layers of steps and eaves

layers of steps and eaves

After exploring the grounds of Mu’s Mansion, we head up to Lion Hill, where we climb up a pavilion to see sweeping views of Lijiang and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

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Categories: Asia, China, Lijiang, Mu's Mansion, Travel, Yunnan Province | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “a morning at mu’s mansion

  1. You must have been so upset, Cathy! No moose!!! 🙂 What a find though! It’s lovely, isn’t it? Did you get me one of those Ming vases as a souvenir? I really like them 🙂 Definitely a statement of power seat!

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    • Haha, Jo, I really did get shortchanged about that moose, didn’t I? I wish I had picked up a few of those Ming vases, some to go around for all of us. Don’t know how I would have put them in my luggage though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you didn’t miss this one out – how beautiful. I’d have stopped there for the rest of the day.

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  3. Moose Mansion. lol! The misunderstanding makes perfect sense to me. It’s a beautiful place. I love all the colors. Like you, I’d love to see it when the willows are leafed out.

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    • Haha, that was funny, Robin. Merry was definitely saying Moose Mansion, pronouncing the “s” as an “s” instead of as a “z” which she should have when saying Mu’s Mansion! I really hope I get to go to some Chinese town before I leave that has weeping willows in full leaf. 🙂

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  4. I love the flying eaves that so many Chinese buildings have.

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  5. Photography heaven!

    Like

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