This three floor, red-brick townhouse is a memorial to the final years of one of China's most celebrated literary figures Lu Xun – he lived here from 1933 until his death in October 1936.
Having taken part in revolutionary activities organised by Sun Yat-sen,as a student in Japan in 1902, Lu became a key figure in post-imperial China and founded the influential Chinese League of Left-Wing Writers in Shanghai in 1930.
Sparsely decorated and dotted with faded sepia-toned photographs, the house remains mostly unaltered since the writer’s demise, and has not been converted into a glossy museum like some of the other dwellings on this list. The cupboards and cabinets still contain the books, bowls and bottles of medicine he left behind, with the smell of dust adding to the air of authenticity. The guided tour (in Chinese only) takes only a few minutes as you’re taken through the historical house at breakneck speed, barely pausing for breath beside the exhibits.
Be sure to knock on Lu’s door if you’re in the area, but the ten minute tour of the house doesn’t quite warrant a dedicated journey. The surrounding foreign concession-style lanes lined with plane trees and conifers are much more worthy of your time. The main drag of Duolun Lu cultural street may feel a bit tacky in places, but the alleyways that lead off from it provide plenty of distraction, as does the nearby park that bears the author’s name. To get the best out of the area, follow our guided Hongkou walk
A visit to this humble home is just 8RMB (4RMB/student) for a reason: the viewing is quick and the guidance minimal. There are leaflets in English, but if you don’t speak Mandarin you’re better off swotting up on Lu Xun’s life before you visit.