Sights

Entering from Gaolong Lu (高隆路), proceed downhill and around the corner to reach the lovely, huge Upper Pond (上塘; Shàng Táng). At the southern end of the pond, look for a sign leading to Tiānyī Hall, most noteworthy for its beautiful garden with flowering trees and hundreds of potted plants – all used for Chinese medicine.

Double back and look for Shòuchūn Hall – one of Zhūgě’s 18 halls – itself a long sequence of chambers and courtyards. Just past it is Lower Pond (下塘; Xià Táng) and two additional halls: Dàjīng Hall – housing a traditional Chinese medicine museum – and, up the steps, the Yōngmù Hall, a fine Ming dynasty hall with an eye-catching central stone door frame.

Eight (the number mirroring the eight trigrams of the bāguà) lanes radiate from Zhōng Pond at the heart of the village. The feng shui symbol of the village, the circular pond resembles the Chinese twin-fish, yīn-yáng tàijí diagram, half filled in and the other half occupied with water. You can also spot the black trigrams (八卦; bāguà) above some windows of the whitewashed houses.

Overlooking the water is the splendid Dàgōng Hall, a huge, airy space with a pairing of huge black Chinese characters 武 (‘Wǔ’ or ‘Martial’) and 忠 (‘Zhōng’ or ‘Loyal’) on the walls outside. The memorial hall originally dates to the Yuan dynasty; note its two large and smooth drum stones. The Prime Minister’s Temple, an impressive and massive old hall with some intricately carved cross-beams in the roof, is nearby.

Admission to the village gets you into all the sights described above, so hold on to your ticket.