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Qiushui Villa

Add:38 Beishan Rd., Xihu District, Hangzhou

2013-01-29

This villa was built by Shi Liangcai (1880-1934), a journalist best known for his ownership of Shen Bao - the most widely circulated newspaper in Shanghai - during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and Republic of China (1911-1949).

The villa was dedicated to Shi's second wife, Shen Qiushui. Before Shen met Shi, she was a courtesan of a Manchu prince. After the death of the prince, Shen went to Shanghai and there met and quickly fell in love with Shi. To support her husband's journalism career, Shen gave him all her wealth, which she had accumulated from her relationship with the Manchu prince. Shi used the cash to found Shen Bao, his wife's money proving pivotal in the success of the newspaper.

But like other men in old China, where polygamy was legal, Shi later married a third wife, which left Shen devastated. Feeling guilty Shi built the villa on Beishan Road to compensate and console Shen.

As time went by, Shen forgave Shi and lived in the villa peacefully. But good times didn't last; Shi opposed the Kuomintang government and was assassinated by Chiang Kai-shek's henchmen in 1934.

Shen was heartbroken over her husband's death and chose to leave Qiushui Villa and eventually converted to Buddhism.

Over the decades that followed, the villa was nationalized as a hospital. Today, it is as part of Xinxin Hotel.

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