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Chen De-xing Hall

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Post date:2016-11-22


Chen De-xing Hall
Chen De-xing Hall is the largest Chen family ancestral hall in northern Taiwan; it was built in 1892, during the reign of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu. The hall was originally located within the walls of Taipei, next to a Confucian Temple, with the moniker of the dragon treasure. Later, in order to construct a Government House, the Japanese authorities confiscated the Chen Ancestral Hall. After continual efforts by the Chen family, the hall finally was rebuilt in 1911 at its current location on Ningxia Road in Dadaocheng.
With its 100 years of history, Chen De-xing Hall has been designated as a city historical site. Chen Ying-bin, a well-known Taipei craftsman at the time, used a Qing Dynasty southern Fujian architectural style to build the hall and used the commonly known “prince-building design” that combined a Yingshan and Xieshan double-eave roof, a splendid and finely carved wooden structure and brackets between crossbeams and columns, to create extremely high artistic value. The very unique double-dragon column in the front hall is Taiwan’s first double-dragon stone column. One dragon is above and one below, representing one ascending and one descending in a juxtaposed manner. They are known as the disordered dragons, and since then, they have had a far-reaching effect on temple design in Taiwan. The exquisitely shaped shrine and the elephant temple candle stands made of tin in the main hall – something rarely seen -- have been completely preserved. Since the Chen family are descendants of the ancient Emperor Shun, the hall has a dragon wall not seen in other ancestral homes. This is a dragon sculpture on a wall that can be used only by those families with emperors in their ancestry.
Every year, during the Chen family ancestor worship ceremony in spring and winter, Chen De-xing Hall is thronged with descendants who come to worship, and in quiet times, part of the space inside the hall is used as a kindergarten, so the ancestral hall serves as both a symbol of the clan and a signifier of cultural heritage.


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