Several weeks ago I went on a short road trip south to Tàijí Gorge 太極峽谷 in Zhushan, Nantou 南投, on the day of the 9-in-1 election. Along the way I made a pit stop at Yuèméichí 月眉池, a small pond in rural Shetou 社頭, Changhua 彰化, to take a look at the historic 18th century Liu Family House 劉氏古厝. I found out about it through Michael Turton’s excellent blog (digging through the archives has its rewards) and, as someone who regularly photographs sanheyuan and other traditional Taiwanese buildings, I figured I may as well add it to my growing collection.
There isn’t actually too much to see when visiting. As Turton notes, people still live here, and they deserve their privacy. What I found most interesting about the site—apart from the elegant simplicity of the central structure itself—was how large the complex has grown over the centuries. I don’t know all that much about traditional Taiwanese building practices but my understanding is that each successive hùlóng 護龍 (or wing; 13 in all) is added to accommodate a new family. From looking around it would appear the the Liu clan has been quite prodigious—the complex must be able to support hundreds of family members.
By the way, did you notice the little guardian lion perched on top of the roof?