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Front of the Children's Palace, Shanghai

Children's Palace, Shanghai 少年宫,上海

Wang Boqun was the Minister of Transportation during the Republic. The story goes that he fell in love with a beautiful young woman of good family who imposed three conditions on him before she would marry him. First, he had to deposit money in a foreign account for her so she would be secure. Second, she wanted a fabulous wedding. Third, she wanted a big, beautiful house.

Wang Boqun could handle the first two, but politically the last was a fireball. Ostentation didn't go down well in the new democratic arena. A friend heard of his dilemma, built the house and gave it to him. The house was started in 1930 and finished in 1934. Wang Boqun got married. All too soon, the Anti-Japanese war broke out and if that wasn't enough Wang Boqun was accused of taking the house as a bribe and lost his position. He died during the war. His wife managed to leave China before 1949 and settle in New York where she was supported by her husband's gift.

The house is three stories and in the Victorian Gothic style. The best features in the interior are the Gothic ceilings and the bay windows. Today, it is a Children's Palace, 少年宫, a place for kids to learn art and self-expression.

China Index >> Shanghai, Bund, and Pudong >> Shanghai Children's Palace

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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007