Zhang Family Temple is an unexpected quiet oasis, a few meters away from the bustled Taiwan Boulevard.
Here, in one of Taichung’s fastest growing areas, close to the Divecube Hotel and the Windsor Hotel, you can find a charming old Taiwanese house, surrounded by a pond and a garden.
And, as a bonus, interesting pieces of old furniture, are on display inside Zhang Family Temple.
What is Zhang Family Temple
- It is a shrine but also a wealthy landlords mansion. The Zhang built the complex, in typical Fujianese style, to be their home, and also a place to gather and worship their ancestors.
- Zhang Family Temple date from 1905, during the Japanese colonial time. At that time, this part of Taichung City was still covered with rice paddies.
- In a quite typical arrangement, here in Taiwan, the government paid for the restoration of the complex.
- The extended Zhang Family (thousands of people all around Taiwan) still gathers here a few days of the year. A few members of them still live in the annex on the left hand side of the house.
- In exchange for the government support, Zhang Family House is open to the public (for free) for the rest of the year.
What to See in Zhang Family Temple
- As you enter from the main gate on the front, a small garden and a half-moon pool welcome you.
- The half-moon pool was a common feature, in these kind of gentry homes (also Chaihsing Villa still has one). It had many functions, such as fire water reservoir, Feng Shui element, fish tank and, also, for collecting grey-water.
- The complex has a “dragon side” and a “tiger side“.
- The “dragon side” is on the left (the right side for you when you are facing the front of the house). The landlords lived on that side.
- The “tiger side” is on the right. The tenants that worked the family’s land lived there. You can still see the thatched roof.
- Dragon and tiger sides are basic elements of Chinese architecture. Temples have a dragon and a tiger side as well.
- The house has beautiful swallowtails roofs. Only temples and high ranking officers homes (such as the Lins of Wufeng) could have that kind of roof. But, when the Zhangs built their home, the Japanese were in charge, while the Qing Emperor was far away. So the Zhangs could break the rules … without any fear of bearing the consequences.
- The main courtyard is the focal point of the house. From there you can access the shrine where Zhang Family ancestors are still worshiped today.
- The pieces of furniture that adorn the inner rooms are quite interesting. Beds, wardrobes, dressing tables and more, all collected by some Zhang family members and displayed here.
As mentioned above, part of the complex is still inhabited. So please be respectful of the people living there.
If you are hungry, the Divecube Hotel is just behind. It is the right place to eat a good pizza … while looking at the divers at the bottom of the 21 meters deep pool.
How to Go to Zhang Family Temple
The complex is in Anhe Road, beyond a small public park. No problems for parking there. The nearest bus stop (about 100m) is An He Fu Xuan Intersection (安和福玄路口). Bus #27, 49, 155 subline, 356, 357 stop there.
Maybe a more convenient bus stop is FuAn Village in Taiwan Boulevard, at only 300m. Frequent buses (300-308 on the express lane, 28, 48, 49, 60, 63, 69, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 161, 323, 324, 325, 326 on the slow lane).