Zhongshu Hall

Zhongshu Hall in Hsinchu County
(All photos courtesy of 新竹故事館 Facebook page)


Chinese name: 忠恕堂

Located at: Beipu Township, Hsinchu County


Zhongshu Hall, located in Beipu Township, Hsinchu County, is the former residence of the Tseng family in Beipu. In 1922, it was built by Tseng Cheng-tong (曾成統), who became rich doing business. A traditional courtyard house, the building impresses people with its western-style walls and special angled gate. However, after falling into disrepair for many years, it suffered from extensive damage. It was later bought by Wu Dong-sheng (吳東昇), founder of Jin Guang Fu Foundation (金廣福基金會), and registered as a historical building in Hsinchu County in 2005. In 2014, it received a subsidy of NT$2 million from the Hakka Affairs Council for surveying, research and emergency repairs. The goal was to preserve this building as it was representative of the architecture of its era. After more than two years, the restoration project was officially completed, and the historical style of the ancient house was recreated. After the opening of the restored Zhongshu Hall, it became the new location of the Jin Guang Fu Foundation. The main goal of the foundation is to preserve Hakka culture and maintain local cultural assets. Its mission is to help revitalize the local cultural industry and reconstruct the community.

The front door of Zhongshu Hall

Zhongshu Hall is a Hakka folk house that faces south, but according to Feng Shui, the original gate was in an unlucky position, so it was changed to face an oblique southwest direction. The layout of Zhongshu Hall consists of "one main hall and two wings." It was built with exquisite architectural workmanship, which expresses the beauty of traditional craftsmanship and the characteristics of a mixture of Chinese and Western styles. Although it is not a large house, there are a lot of ingenuity in the architectural details, such as the geometric figures made of red tiles on the walls, and the European style decorations on the gables. The roof is in the form of hard hill roofs, which is conducive to blocking the wind and minimizing the spread of fires. The tiles, cochin pottery, dougong brackets, and stone-washed doorposts in the house are all worthy of appreciation.

Zhongshu Hall

Beipu’s Zhongshu Hall is an important Hakka historical building and is one of the important cultural attractions on Taiwan Romantic Route 3. It’s full of moving stories of early Hakka ancestors who settled in Beipu. As the restoration of the building is of great significance to preserving, recording and passing on the history of Hakka villages, the descendants of the Tseng family have worked together with the Jin Guang Fu Foundation to revitalize this home that they were once proud of. After the restoration was completed, they have organized a series of activities for the public to participate in, including the Beipu old photos exhibition and concerts, giving this old building, which was once on the verge of collapse, a new life.