May 18th is International Museum Day. You now have a chance to explore the Cloisters Apartments, also known as the “monastery apartments”, at 62 Fuxing Road West. After two years of renovation, it now houses exhibitions related to the historical zone around Hengshan and Fuxing roads, with their 15 heritage-listed buildings.
The building once housed the offices of the Hunan Road subdistrict and many parts of the two-story structure — balconies, fountains and mosaic floors — have been preserved.
In fact, local citizens are familiar with another name, ‘Monastery Apartment’. Built in 1930, the building was designed by a British construction company as a typical Spanish-style residence.
The apartment has two buildings in the north and south, one of which is connected by an arcade. The name of the building is derived from the word “cloister”, which means “a roofed outer corridor connected with the building”. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, people used “monastery apartment”, as monastery is a synonym for cloister, even though the building has nothing to do with the church. Some people mistakenly believe that it used to be a monastery, which adds some mystery to the building.
The Cloisters Apartments open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a current limit of 100 visitors per day. Please make an appointment on the WeChat public account “Meili Hengfu” in advance.
Editor： Zhu Yan