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Maosheng Residence, Henggang

This article was originally published on September 26, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

Maosheng Hakka Residence, with a pond in front and forest behind
One of the hidden treasures in our city is the large number of Hakka enclosed villages (or "Hakka houses"). There are dozens of them in Longgang, and the new Metro line brings them much closer.

Italianate colonnade in a courtyard, Maosheng Hakka Residence
I recently visited Maosheng Residence, about a kilometer west of Henggang Station, next to Maosheng Park. It differs from others I've seen by incorporating several architectural styles, including some very Italian-looking colonnades.

The village was built around 200 years ago by settlers with the surname He. Like many such villages, it has a D-shaped pond out front. This and the ancient forest behind it (now a park) were meant to enhance the site's feng shui. A signboard inside also refers to the pond as "young-moon-shaped" and compares it to a bent archer's bow.

Courtyard with forest behind
There are watchtowers at each of the four corners; those and the other exterior walls feature dumbbell-shaped defensive loopholes for defenders to shoot through if need be. The whole edifice speaks of the precarious position of the first Hakka settlers.

Delicate paintings above a doorway
Just inside the gate is a "Maosheng Village History Exhibition." There are pictures and some of artifacts, as well as family history; this is also the area of the ancestral shrine. The whole museum was closed on my visit, but some kindly workers let me in to poke around.

A nearby hall with closed doors is signed "The Folk Art Gallery," but when I peeked  through the crack between the doors there seemed to be nothing inside.

I saw a couple of occupied rooms near the back, but otherwise the place seems deserted. The open courtyards left me with an eerie feeling; I felt better when I saw the people exercising in the park next door!

You can learn more about Longgang's Hakka dwellings in my articles on Hakka Houses in Longgang and Crane Lake Dwelling Hakka House Museum.

There's more about Maosheng Residence in another article in the Shenzhen Daily, "Maosheng Ancestral Residence in Henggang."

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