The “Forbidden City” of Naxi

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019  2017-Sep-14 14:12:39

“There is the Forbidden City in the north, and there is the Mu Mansion in the south.” Walking pass the bridge above the running stream, we see a wooden archway standing high among the earthen dwellings with roofs covered with tiles. Passing the bright red gate of the Mu Mansion, a golden palace with white marble stands in an open field. Its magnificence makes you think that you were inside the imperial palace. The Naxi people talked about Master Mu as if he was their own ancestor. Master Mu is the former owner of the mansion. To put it simple, the Mu Mansion was the “Forbidden City” for the Naxi people some 500 to 600 years ago.


If what we see in the Old Town of Lijiang is one side of the ordinary life in Lijiang, then the Mu Mansion shows us the history of a once-prosperous chieftain family in the southwestern region. It is something about which can be written a great deal in the history of Naxi nationality. Scholars pointed out: “If you have not been to the Mu Mansion, you have never been to Lijiang.” Existing ancient buildings in the Mu Mansion from the Ming and Qing dynasties have magnificent structure, glorious palace, exquisite carving, delicate components, and brilliant paintings, which is the definition of a beauty beyond compare. The Mu Mansion is the popular name of the government office of chieftain from Mu family in Lijiang. This chieftain family ran from Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, with over 100 mu (6.67 ha) of land and nearly 100 buildings in their best times. It was the actual heart of the 800-year-old Dayan Old Town. Although it is a mansion for the chieftain, its luxury and magnificence are no less than those of any mansion of the noble.