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Close to Hangzhou's Notables by visiting Hangzhou Private Gardens

Hangzhou's profound history is not only reflected in its many unique landscapes, but also in the historical and cultural accumulation of the city, for example, old residences of Hangzhou's notables in history.

Hu Xueyan's Former Residence
Hu Xueyan (1823-1885), a Hangzhou celebrity, was one of the richest and most famous businessmen in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). He started his business with support from the Governor, Wang Youling. An early entrepreneur, Hu Xueyan founded businesses in the fields of food, real estate, hock, weapons, silk and traditional Chinese medicine (which subsequently created a famous brand "Hu Qing Yu Tang"). After his success, he donated much money and time to the Qing government. Because of this relationship, Hu was renowned throughout the country and was called the Hongding merchant. His legendary life was mostly related to the destiny of the late Qing Dynasty.

Former Residence of Yu Qian
Renowned as 'Three Heroes of West Lake' together with Yue Fei, Zhang Huangyan, Yu Qian is the native of the current Hangzhou city which was known back then as Qiantang County. Just like Yue Fei, Yu Qian was executed wrongly for political reasons and was posthumously rehabilitated. Yu Qian started his political life at the age of 23 and got promoted several times after suppressing a rebellion by the prince of Han together with the Xuanzong Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1421. During his lifetime, he has been framed twice. At the first time, he offended the influential court eunuch and was thrown into prison, however, was released later for the pressure put on the government by the populace. At the second time, he was unable to get away. In 1449, he played an important role in leading the defense of the capital Beijing from attacks of the Mongols who had earlier captured the then emperor of the Ming Dynasty – Yingzong was captured. Later, the Mongols threatened the life of Yingzong Emperor to seal an unfair deal and were rejected by Yu Qian because he thought the country is more important than the emperor. Later, Yingzong was released and restored his throne who then executed Yu Qian for treason.

Former Residence of Lin Fengmian
Artists live in their own worlds. They are often melancholy by nature. Though on the surface they may appear passionate, cold, abandoned or innocent, they all reach into their own worlds for reassurance and inspiration. One great painter who used to live at the foot of the Ma Ling Hill perfectly fitted this profile, and his works were overflowing with desolation, solitude and emptiness. Even without his signature, the trained eye can easily identify his paintings. Lin Fengmian was a most celebrated artist and art educator, who, in his lifetime,  worked tirelessly to break down the boundary between Chinese and western arts.

His Residence on the Ling Yin Road was expertly designed by himself. He adored the superb location of his villa as “to the south across the lake are the Mid-Lake Pavilion, the Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon and views of the southern hills. To the east are the Autumn Moon on the Placid Lake and the Liou Park. To the west runs the Xi Ling Bridge from which the northern hills can all be taken in…” Lin lived in the villa for 10 years. You can still see the trees and flowers he planted around the house.

Former Residence of Zhang Taiyan
The Former Residence of Zhang Taiyan is located at No. 59 Cangqian Tang Road, Cangqian Town, Yuhang District, Hangzhou. It is the birthplace of Mr. Zhang Taiyan and he had spent 22 years here. Even after he had joined the revolution, he went home several times to visit relatives and take refuge.

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