Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Leith Street - Penang

Thanks to L and her Canon Powershot G10 for this "guest blog" ... I love Penang too!

Some cool information from
Cheong Fatt Tze (1840-1916) was a Hakka born in 1840 in Dabu, Guangdong Province in South China. As he came from a poor Hakka family, he started working at an early age as a cowherd back in his village. In 1856, civil war had broken out in China between the Chinese and the English, known as the Second Opium War 1856-1862. The people had experienced hardship and suffering during the war. As a result Cheong Fatt Tze migrated to South-East Asia together with other coastal Chinese families to seek their fortune.
He migrated to Java in the 1850s, then he later prospered and moved his base to Penang in the early 1890s. Was well-known as a powerful Nanyang industrialist and a first-class Mandarin in the Manchu government, he was made Consul-General in Singapore and economic advisor to the Empress Dowager.
He had eight wives and owned many residences throughout his trading empire (mostly Southeast Asia) but made Penang as his base, where he raised his six sons as well.

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was built throughout the seven years from 1896 to 1904 by the teams of master craftsmen he brought from China. This mansion is only one of three of its kind left outside China. The mansion is the only stately Chinese-type dwelling representing the best of 18th and 19th century Chinese architecture in the State.


Did you know? In 1894, Chung Keng Quee hosted in his own gardens, in the name of Vice Consul Chang, Pi Shih (Cheong Fatt Tze), a dinner to welcome Admiral Ting (see Battle of Yalu River (1894) and Battle of Weihaiwei) and the Chinese Imperial Fleet of warships that he commanded.

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