Spending a weekend in Banqiao was the perfect occasion to drop by a place that I wanted to visit for a long time: The Lin Family Mansion and Garden. I find it rare to find any remains of the time before Japanese occupation other than temples so I was pleased to be able to see Taiwan’s most complete remains of Chinese traditional architecture.
The Mansion is composed of multiple areas and building each with their own architectural specificity as well as Gardens and body of water.
The Mansion and Garden can be traced back to 1847. The Lin Family originated from the Fujian Province. Its ancestor Ling Ying-Yin moved to Taiwan in 1784. His second son Lin Ping-Hou made fortune in the rice trading business. He later divided his business between his 5 sons. Two of them associated together to create what is called today the Lin Ben Yuan Family and progressively build the house as the family residence.
In 1949, the House served as shelter from Nationalist soldiers of the mainland. In 1982, the house opened to the public as part have been donated to the government while the rest remains privately owned.
The Lin Ben Yuan Family remains today one of the richest family of Taiwan.