Mufu Palace or Mu Family Mansion is the most recommendation attraction in Lijiang, the highlight of Chinese architecture.
The long history of Mu dates back to a time before the Tang Dynasty. In the thirteenth century AD, Kublai Khan (The funder of the Yuan Dynasty) launched an offensive to Kingdom Dali by marching through Lijiang. Aliang, the head of Naxi tribe, surrendered to Kublai Khan immediately after his arrival inLijiang. In 1382, Governor Ade of Lijiang agreed to a total domination by the Ming government. The first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, granted Mu the surname of Ade and appointed him to be a lifetime magistrate of Lijiang Prefecture, a position that could be inherited as well. For over 700 years the Mu had always been the local magistrate of Lijiang. The Mu were a wise family which would evetually govern Lijiang for over twenty generations. Though the emperors and dynasties changed as time went on in central China, the Mu would always maintain a good relationship with the central government and would maintain their position to dominate Lijiang Prefecture.It is an incredible aspect of Lijiang's history. The Mu were not conservative even though Lijiang was remote from thriving central China. Some people believed that the Ancient Town didn't a have defensive wall because the Mu had a superstition that their family name shouldn't be confined. In Chinese calligraphy, Mu is "木" (wood). If a "木" is surrounded by walls then becomes "困" which means confinement. As well, living without walls symbolized opennes which was like the general attitude of the Mu. The Mu loved to learn the culture, language and technology from the Han people (the majority Chinesein central China). In religion, the Mu preserved well their own Dongba, while at the same time they encouraged other religions like Taoism, Buddhism and Lamaism to develop. It helped Lijiang to become a multicultural envirenment. Quite a quantity of outstanding Naxi poets, calligraphists and writers came from the Mu. Lijiang was at an intersection of three powerful dominions in its long history: the central Chinese government, Tibet and Dali. The Mu not only preserved their Naxi ethnic minority successfully, but also developed a splendid Naxi culture. This is amazingand uncommon in history. In the most successful period, the Mu even governed the wider area ofYunnan, Tibet and Sichuan. The governor was once called the Grat King of the Mu. They built the Mu Residence, a large group of houses combining the styles of Naxi, Bai, Tibetan and Han architecture. The exquisite painting and carved patterns on the doors and windows displayed the Naxi's extrodinary talents in architecture.
The Wangulou Pagoda can be reached from the top of Lion Mountain by walking through a steep path. By standing on the Wangulou Pagoda, we can have a panoramic view of the Dayan Ancient Town, which is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. Looking at it from the pogoda, the black brick roofs look like a silk blanket covering the ancient town. Some white and orange walls can be seen among the houses, as well as many scattered trees and flowers. They are like pretty decorations on a black silk blanket. This town was built completely by hand in old Naxi ways making people feel peaceful.
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