Study halls traditionally stand alongside ancestral halls in Chinese villages. Even the poorest clan pays lip service to the Classics and the Imperial Examination System and the study hall is the village home of culture. The village would hire an itinerant teacher who was shared between two or three neighboring villages. When a pupil was recommended by his teacher as being learned enough to become a teacher, the pupil’s teacher would take him to have tea with the other teachers in the district. This ritual signified the pupil’s acceptance into the profession.

This hall dates to the Early Qing Dynasty 17th century commemorating Zhang Siyue, the founder of the Zhang clan of Shenzhen village. It was demolished in 1996 and rebuilt in the Culture Square of Dongmen as a cultural centre. It is a typical Qing dynasty building in grey brick, not unusual, but with some fine porcelain plaques on the front.

It was protected mainly because, during World War II, it was a centre for the communist-led East River Column guerilla brigade.

You can find it in the Culture Square in Dongmen.

Address: Dong Men Pedestrian Street, Dong Men Culture Square

Buses: 113, 300, 337 Dong Men Lao Jie Stop

Metro: Lao Jie Lines 1 and 3 SHIYAN HOT SPRINGS

See section on The Great Outdoors, p 150


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