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An exquisite woodcarving of a dragon faces the street.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Taiwan > Sights & Attractions

Jinshi Mansion

  
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At the northern end of Beimen Street, you'll find the decaying remains of the formerly splendid Jinshi Mansion (進士第). This single-story five-courtyard mansion was built in 1838 on the orders of Zheng Yong-xi (鄭用錫, 1788-1868), who in 1823 became the first Taiwanese to attain the highest possible grade (進士, jinshi) in the triennial imperial examinations held in the capital, Beijing.

A successful career in officialdom followed, and a few years after his exam triumph, Zheng led a group of gentry who petitioned the authorities to build a wall around the city; the only remaining part of that barrier is Yingxi Old Gate. Parts of the Jinshi Mansion are still inhabited by Zheng’s descendants, but none of it is open to the public. However, several interesting features survive and can be appreciated from the street. There are intricate stone lattice windows; the woodcarvings of dragons and flowers lost their coats of paint long ago, but remain exquisite.  

The various house numbers (163 to 179) attached to parts of the complex suggest that, with the passing of each generation, ownership of the mansion has been divided and subdivided. The adjacent Zheng Clan Ancestral Hall (鄭氏家廟) is in fine condition, but it’s not open to the public either. Outfront there are two flag holders, showing the clan produced not one but two holders of jinshi degrees.

Directions

From Hsinchu TRA Station, walk northwest for 1.1km along Zhongzheng Road, past the Yingxi Old Gate and city hall until you reach the intersection with Beimen Street. The mansion and clan shrine are a very short distance from the intersection, on the right.

Type: Monument/Building
Costs: not open to the public
Location: Taiwan
Street address: 163 to 179, Beimen Street, North District, Hsinchu City
Nearest public transport: Hsinchu TRA Station
Opening hours: not open to the public







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