Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Yellow Houses

Liao_Lei

Liao Lei (廖磊)

China hasn’t always produced ultra-boring residential architecture. Not that much of the old style is left. The anti-Japanese war as they call World War II, cultural revolutions and the insane (and apparently endless) “development” has done away with the past all over China, including Liuzhou.

The city was all but destroyed in 1945, and it is unrecognisable compared to what it was a mere 10 years ago. Very few genuinely old buildings survive. The oldest is supposedly the East Gate 东门, but that is largely a twentieth century remake. The fake Confucius temple on the south side of the river is 100% 21st Century.

There are, however, a few buildings of architectural interest which are genuine relics of a bygone era. The 1930s.

The first is Liao Lei’s (廖磊) residence (廖磊公馆). Liao Lei was a general in the Nationalist Army (国民党) and was commander of the 7th division which was based here in Liuzhou, and so he lived in the city from 1930 to 1937. Later he became governor of Anhui Province.

His house is on the corner of Zhongshan DongLu (中山东路) and Luochi Lu (罗池路). Today it is the offices of Liuzhou Chamber of Commerce and Liuzhou Industry and Commerce Association. It is not open to the public. The house is occasionally used by local television stations as a set for historical series. The building is under the eye of Guangxi Cultural Relics Protection Bureau (广西壮族自治区文物保护) – bet you didn’t know they had one of them!

Liao Lei Residence

Liao Lei’s Residence (廖磊公馆)

Liao Lei Residence 2

Liao Lei’s Residence (廖磊公馆)

An even better example of this style of architecture is tucked away behind the East Gate (东门). This recently restored and repainted building belongs to the Post Office and was some years ago used as a postal museum. It isn’t open to the public now, but may be so in future. The security guard on duty at the time of my last visit a couple of weeks ago, hadn’t a clue where he was, never mind what may happen in future.

To see the building, go through the arch in the gate and you will see it to the right. For the best view, climb the stairs onto the gate itself (there is a small entrance charge) and turn left.

IMG_3001

Post Office Building – before restoration

IMG_4324

Post Office Building – after restoration

There are a few other examples of this style around town – Longtan Park administration offices are housed in a couple of such buildings, but they are in very poor condition.

. This entry was posted on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 at 2:19 pm and is filed under About Liuzhou, History, Lost Liuzhou. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Yellow Houses”

  1. David Says:

    are the stalls to the left of the Post Office building where ‘antiques’ and curios are sold ?

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Yes. Guaranteed to be genuine fakes!

  3. Matt Says:

    Thanks this post, I was always curious about these houses but never knew what they were. It’d be great if they’d try to recreate these in the traditional style, but that’d be asking too much. Instead we get a revolving statue.

  4. canrun Says:

    I’ve asked my wife for years about that yellow house, as her “snail place” is just down the block. Predictably, she had no clue and could not be bothered to find out for me. Thanks for answering that question!



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