Friday, March 13, 2009

A scholar's house

While in Taipei earlier this week, after visiting the Confucius and Dalongdong Baoan temples, I set off to find the old abode of a long-dead scholar. Chen Yue-ji's House is marked on a number of tourist maps, but as soon as I got there I realized it wasn't a normal tourist attraction. There were sacks of trash out front, dozens of cigarette butts on the floor, and racks of laundry drying in the courtyard.

It's a sprawling single-story complex still inhabited by dozens of people. Some of it dates from 1807, but because of additions and renovations, it's now a real hodge-podge of different styles and materials. In some places the wood is quite rotten, but other parts are still attractive. There's stonework, red bricks, and walls that were once covered with plaster. The residents didn't seem to mind me wandering through the courtyards and taking photos.

If you want to take a look, one entrance is at Alley 14, Lane 235, Yanping North Road Section 4 (延平北路4段235巷14弄).

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