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Rishengchang Financial House M

Rishengchang Financial House M

Rishengchang Financial House Museum was established in the early Qing Dynasty. It is the first of many draft banks, which operated from the city. It started off as a small dye shop in the late 18th century; as it expanded, a system of cheques and deposits for the remote offices was introduced, which eventually grew into a financial agent for other business, indiciduals and the Qing government, with 57 branches around China.

 

The House Museum is within a compound with three courtyards. In the front of the compound, five rooms facing the street served as the gate of the shop. The board with the name of the shop hangs in central position above the five rooms. Passing through these rooms, you will come to the first courtyard in which four cashier's offices are situated on either side of the passage that runs along the axis of the compound. In the second courtyard, the three south facing halls were used for the exchange business. In the second courtyard there are also rooms which housed the staff who worked in the exchange shop, while the second storey served as store rooms. The third courtyard served as accommodation for the senior staff and due to its location away from the noise of the road also provided a resting place for important customers. For security, a net made from metal thread was fixed over the top of the whole compound. Small bells were hung on the net to sound a warning if intruders tried to enter the premises.

 


A visit to Rishengchang Financial House Museum will give the visitor an insight into the enterprise and ingenuity of the merchants of ancient China. In particular it will illustrate how the Shanxi Merchants made a vital contribution to the development of Chinese trade

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