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History of Huguang Guild Hall

Ancient Stage of Huguang Guild Hall

Chongqing Huguang Guild Hall is located on the bank of Yangtze River of Yuzhong District in Chongqing. It is a general name for Guangdong Guild Hall, Qi'an Guild Hall, Yuwang Temple and other ancient buildings complex. So far, it is the biggest ancient guild hall buildings in the whole China. Huguang Guild Hall was built as a result of the historical event of Huguang Filled up Sichuan Movement.

History of Huguang Guild Hall - Background

In the last years of the Ming Dynasty and the early years of Qing Dynasty, Sichuan people experienced severe havoc. For a long time of over 30 years, Sichuan area was involved in big wars. Followed the war was famines and plagues. Therefore, the population of Sichuan decreased sharply and the ploughland was derelict. According to a research, there were only 500,000 people left in Sichuan area in the early years of Qing Dynasty. And the poputation of Chongqing city at that time was only several hundred households while the population of the Chongqing countryside was only about one dozen households.

History of Huguang Guild Hall - Details

With this special historical background, Emperor Kangxi decided to implement the Huguang Filled up Sichuan Movement. He encouraged the people of Hu and Guang area (now the Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, and Guangxi Provinces) to move to Sichuan to reclaim the wasteland. The government also enacted some preferential policies for the emigrants such as the measure that those volunteers would obtain the ploughland forever. As a result, the upsurge of Huguang Filled up Sichuan Movement which lasted more than 300 years was raised.

History of Huguang Guild Hall - Influences

The over 300 years' Huguang Filled up Sichuan Movement brought various life styles and rich cultures to Sichuan, thus injecting some fresh blood and vigour to Sichuan. Different cultures and customs blended together and formed the new Sichuan culture.

People from Hu and Guang areas built many guild halls in Sichuan area, for example the Huguang Guild Hall of Chongqing, as the cultural, business and social center for the fellows coming from the same province to connect their friendships and brotherhoods. The guild halls are a great fortune for the offspring with great cultural and artistic values.