Citywalk in Foshan① | Discover the Birthplace of Foshan Kung-Fu and Cantonese Opera
Foshan China 2023-08-30 16:43

Currently, Citywalk has become a new travel trend for youngsters exploring cultural spots. Basically, Citywalk means "roaming around the city" on foot. Travelers can tour a distinctive travel route, soaking up the atmosphere, exploring cultural heritage, strolling along old streets, or delving in authentic local delicacies.

Every city has its own history. To learn about the history of Foshan, the Ancestral Temple is a must-visit destination.

Here, we would like to recommend two Citywalk routes for you to discover the origin of Foshan Kung-Fu and Cantonese Opera.

1. Foshan Martial Arts Culture

Route: Hongsheng Memorial Hall - Yip Man Hall - Wong Fei-hung Memorial Hall - Foshan Ancient Town Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall

Foshan is the birthplace of martial arts, the origin of Southern-style martial arts, and the hometown of a bunch of Kung-Fu masters such as Wong Fei-hung, Yip Man, and Bruce Lee. Nowadays, Foshan's martial arts culture has become one of the important cultural heritages well-known both at home and abroad.

Hongsheng Memorial Hall

Founded by Master Zhang Yan in 1851, Hongsheng Memorial Hall has cultivated generations of Kung-Fu masters across the world. It is also the oldest existing private martial arts hall in Foshan and holds a significant position in the development of Choi Lee Fut, witnessing the emergence and flourishment of Foshan martial arts.

In Hongsheng Memorial Hall, you can not only witness the inheritance and transformation of Foshan martial arts but also experience the distinctive traditional architecture of Foshan. Just looking from the exterior appearance of Hongsheng Memorial Hall, you can appreciate a Lingnan-style building with exquisite brick carvings embedded in the walls, still preserving the trace of time.

Yip Man Hall

Established in late 2002 within the Zumiao Museum, Yip Man Hall houses the exhibition "Yip Man▪Wing Chun: Yip Man and the Culture of Wing Chun", providing a comprehensive display of Wing Chun culture, and the techniques and moral integrity of Master Yip Man.

Since its opening, Yip Man Hall has welcomed numerous visitors from home and abroad, becoming an important symbol of Foshan's Kung-Fu culture tourism.

Wong Fei-hung Memorial Hall

In memory of the famous martial artist Wong Fei-hung, the Memorial Hall was built on the north side of the Ancestral Temple in 2001. The hall features thematic exhibitions and showcases martial arts and lion dance performances from time to time, presenting a comprehensive and multi-dimensional display of the true life of Wong Fei-hung, and his legendary image and influence in the fields of film, television, and arts.

Foshan Ancient Town Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall

Located on the north side of Liang's Garden, Foshan Ancient Town Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall, focusing on the historical development of Foshan's ancient town, is divided into six thematic exhibition areas, including metallurgy, traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, folk culture, commercial culture, and ceramic treasures, which comprehensively and diversely showcase the rich culture and the essence of intangible cultural heritage of Foshan, highlighting the splendid cultural charm.

2. Hometown of Cantonese Opera

Route: Wanfu Stage - Guangdong Cantonese Opera Museum - Jingtang Ancient Temple

Foshan is the birthplace of Cantonese opera and has still preserved a large number of related cultural relics so far, witnessing the prosperity of Cantonese opera in Foshan. Visitors can learn about the historical development of Cantonese opera and appreciate its long-lasting charm while walking through these attractions.

Wanfu Stage

Located at the southern end of the Ancient Architecture Complex, Wanfu Stage has been an important venue for various Cantonese opera performances for more than three centuries. With such a long history, Wanfu Stage is the most intact ancient stage preserved in Guangdong.

During traditional festivals such as the Spring Festival, Birthday of the God of North, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival, there are always spectacular opera performances dazzling the audience, all of which are free to watch. Now, it has become a major cultural and entertainment center for the local people.

Guangdong Cantonese Opera Museum

As the first large-scale Cantonese opera museum in China, Guangdong Cantonese Opera Museum exhibits the history, art, and characters of Cantonese opera in ten exhibition halls. It houses precious cultural relics, including scripts, posters, costumes, musical instruments, early Cantonese opera films, records, photographs, and portraits, displaying the rich connotation and unique charm of Cantonese opera culture.

Jingtang Ancient Temple

Jingtang Ancient Temple, a historic building with nearly 600 years of history, has witnessed the participation of artists in the peasant revolutionary war, marking the first time in world theatrical history. In the future, it will serve as a significant component of the Foshan Cantonese Opera Cultural Park, continuing to interpret the story of "listening to Cantonese opera in Jingtang Ancient Temple, and enjoying the performance of water sleeves under the banyan tree."

Reporter | Christy

Revisor | Eleanor, Eddie

Photo | Ancestral Temple Museum, Tourism Foshan, Ancestral Temple News