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“Interesting details” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mandarin's House

Mandarin's House
No. 10,Travessa de Antonio da Silva, Macau, China
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Ranked #10 of 163 attractions in Macau
Type: Historic Sites
Attraction Details
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Interesting details”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

The house was restored by the government (see video display on the 2nd floor) from a run down condition. The work was done beautifully. The moldings outside the buildings are three dimensional carvings and the rooms have vents that are cleverly decorated. Definitely a very interesting building and I'm glad the building was restored.

Visited December 2012
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83 reviews from our community

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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Nice little place to stop for 20 minutes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

I think if you have a few extra hours and want to learn about the history of Macau, and the rich people it has housed in the past, you can visit the Mandarin house. The visit is free, and you will get to see this giant ancestral house, where this rich family used to live.

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Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Good efforts in upkeeping the heritage”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Well-maintained refurbished heritage property within walking distance from famous A-ma temple. Worth a visit if you have a keen interest in Chinese architecture or Chinese history. A refreshing break from all the Portuguese architecture seen everywhere in Macau. There is no entrance fee. Great efforts put into introducing the history and background mansion for visitors. Was very quiet and very few visitors when we visited on a Friday morning. Opens daily (except Wednesday) from 10am – 6pm (no entry after 5.30pm).

Visited November 2012
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Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
74 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
257 helpful votes 257 helpful votes
“Halcyon days gone, imagination must take over!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

The Mandarin's House is a heritage building that is part of the 'Historic Centre of Macau', which found a place in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2005. This mansion is an easy walk from A-Ma Temple, past the Moorish Barracks, and just across from Largo do Lilau (Lilau Square).

We understand that the Mandarin's House had become very run down starting the mid 1950s when its original owners moved out and the house became occupied by scores of tenants.
Since Macau’s return to Chinese administration in 1999, the local government has made efforts to revitalize the city’s culture and heritage. As part of this effort, starting in early 2000, this mansion too has undergone a decade of government funded conservation and restoration work to get it back to a semblance of its past glory.

The place is certainly worth a visit - especially if like me, you are fascinated by the heady combination of history and architecture. Construction of this mansion was apparently initiated in the 1860s by Zheng Wenrui, a government official and father of Zheng Guanying. What was then a modest house became this magnificent Chinese mansion, as the home of Zheng Guanying, a senior government official and forward thinker who wrote 'Words of Warning in Times of Prosperity' published around the 1890s - apparently this path breaking book which had a profound influence on Chinese leaders (including we are told Sun Yat-sen and Mao Zedong), was written while Zheng Guanying stayed in this very house.

Proof of Zheng's incisive thinking can be found in these words attributed to him: "“To resist foreign aggression, one must continuously strive to make progress; to continuously strive to make progress, one must first acquire wealth; to acquire wealth, one must first develop industry and commerce; to develop industry and commerce, one must first build up the education system, institute a constitution, value morality, and improve governance.”

The Mandarin's House complex is a traditional Chinese compound consisting of several courtyard houses each opening into the next through circular entrances which is a recurring motif of the architecture here. The mansion's architecture also features wooden lattice windows set below mother-of-pearl window panels, and decorative metal grilles. Ornamental screens and antique furniture within the mansion speak of its grandeur in days gone by. This residence apparently has more than sixty rooms!

Suggestion 1: Please do ensure to see the audio visual presentation that is continually screened in one of the rooms of this mansion - it tells you a fair bit of the fascinating history of Macau and this mansion.

Suggestion 2: If you need to use the rest room, please do so here - they are clean and extremely well maintained!

This Mandarin's House is open between 10am and 6pm on all days except Wednesday. Admission is free.

We are told that in the past this mansion which is strategically located on a hill had an unobstructed view of the harbour - all one can do today is imagine what the view from here must have been in Zheng Guanying's time - in fact while while the Mandarin's House still carries the romance of history and architecture, one feels a sharp pang of regret that the extent of its true majesty during its halcyon days can now only be imagined.

Visited March 2012
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Hong Kong, China
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“Mandarin's House is a very good addition to the UNESCO World Heritage collection for the Historic Centre of Macu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

We stopped by the Mandarin's House (free entrance) after visiting a handful of other World Heritage members of the Historic Center of Macau. On this day we visited attractions south and southwest of Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro. Of the many attractions in this area between Senado Square and A-Ma Temple, the Mandarin's House was one of the best to spend places to spend time.

The Mandarin's House is similar to the Lou Kau Mansion, located near St. Domingos, past Senado Square, but is a significantly larger compound with at least a dozen rooms up and downstairs as well as a few nice courtyards. We best enjoyed the courtyards and moon shaped entrances found within the compound. Overall, the Mandarin's House is a worthy place to spend 30+ minutes if you want to see what a 19th century traditional Chinese house would have looked like.

In this area of Macau, you can also easily visit other nearby inclusions in the Historic Center of Macau World Heritage Sight; Lilau Square, which is just around the corner as well as Barra Square and A-Ma Temple, about four or five minutes walk from the Mandarin's House.

Hint: There is now an excellent website for the Mandarin House, showing you details of each room. Its advisable to spend a bit of time studying this website map of the Mandarin's house so you have a decent idea of what you will see here.

Visited January 2012
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