Mu Family Mansion

This residence was the home of the Mu Family, the hereditary rulers of Lijiang prefecture through the centuries. The first Mu Chieftain was appointed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), with the main responsibility of controlling the local people and collecting tribute for the Imperial Court. In the Qing Dynasty their role changed from chieftain to chief administrator, but their function essentially stayed the same.

The residence was first built in 1382 and follows the general layout of Ming Dynasty palaces, bearing a resemblance to the Forbidden City. The buildings, however, are influenced by Naxi and Tibetan architectural styles. The residence was severely damaged by wars during the Qing Dynasty and what stands today was built from 1996. Apparently it is a faithful reproduction of the original. The Mu Family Mansion isn't a particularly fascinating complex compared to similar places in China, but it does boast some lovely gardens. It's the sort of attraction that you can take or leave.

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