Legendary in the annals of the history of Penang is the awe-inspiring Cheong Fat Tze Mansion in Leith Street. Dubbed “La Maison Blue”, this flamboyant masterpiece of 38 rooms, 5 courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 windows took a very special man to create.
Of his vast empire, Cheong Fat Tze chose Penang to build the most elaborate of his homes and to raise his sons. It is reputed to be one of only two such buildings of this size, outside China and certainly the most perfected. While the Mansion’s floorplan is Chinese, the overall effect is eclectic and typical of 19th century Straits Settlements architecture. Gothic louvered windows, Chinese cut-and-paste porcelain work, Stoke-on-Trent floor tiles, Scottish cast iron works and Art Nouveau stained glass are among the features to be found in this inspired work of art.
No wonder, Cheong Fat Tze Mansion was awarded as one of the 10 greatest mansions in the world (Lonely Planet 2011) and winner of Most Excellent Project by the UNESCO Heritage Conservation Awards in 2000.
I am chuffed that without anything in particular planned on a Sunday morning in George Town before we board our cruise ship in the afternoon (yessss, more of that soon!), I discovered this utterly gorgeous mansion. Their daily tour also luckily fitted in our schedule so we were able to check out this pride of Leith street. How coincidental also that I brought a dress that matches their interiors that somehow reminded me of Morocco’s blue city 💙💙💙 (not that I’ve been to but dreaming to visit one day 😍). This mansion is truly a must-see when in Penang. 🙂