Chengzhi Hall

Historic Site in Hongcun

Flung up by a salt merchant, the Chengzhi Hall dates from 1855 and has 28 rooms, adorned with fabulous woodcarvings, 2nd-floor balconies and light wells. Peepholes on top-floor railings are for girls to peek at boy visitors and the little alcove in the mahjong room was used to hide the concubine. The now-faded gold-brushed carvings are said to have required 100 taels of the expensive stuff and took over four years to reach completion and full fruition.