This museum is one of Qingdao’s best examples of concession-era architecture – the former German governor’s residence constructed in the style of a German palace. The building’s interior is characteristic of Jugendstil, the German arm of art nouveau, with some German and Chinese furnishings of the era. It was built in 1903 at a cost of 2,450,000 taels of silver by an indulgent governor, whom Kaiser Wilhelm II immediately sacked when he saw the bill.
In 1957 Chairman Mao stayed here with his wife and kids on holiday. So did defence minister Lin Biao, who would later attempt to assassinate Mao.