The home was first built during the Zhengtong Period of the Ming Dynasty by a descendant of a brother of a famous general important to the founding of the Ming. It was later purchased in the early Qing Dynasty by the Zhang family who gave it its current formal name Yuyan Hall (Yùyàn Táng, 玉燕堂). The building is now under the protection of the local government and has been restored.
Complete with six courtyards and in excess of 70 rooms, the residence covers more than 1,800 sq m (19,375 sq ft). One of the more interesting features of the establishment is its rare Ming-style column construction and—strangely enough—free flowing river, wide enough to provide access for several boats at a time. Well-kept gardens and ponds in the rear also make for pleasant viewing.
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