Tjong A Fie Mansion is a heritage mansion located along Jalan Jendral A Yani in the historic core of the city of Medan. It is the mansion of the Chinese Indonesian tycoon, Tjong A Fie, nephew of the equally imminent Chinese immigrant, Cheong Fatt Tze of Penang. Tjong A Fie Mansion is double-storey mansion, constructed in Chinese-European-Art Deco style, and was completed in 1900, and said to have been modelled on the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. It was laid out in the style of a Chinese courtyard mansion with a gateway. Just a posed to the overall Oriental design are European and Art Nouveau design elements including concrete columns with ornamental capitals, and chandeliers suspended from a decorated ceiling. This Mansion was residential home and visitors can see a variety of exhibits – old furniture, his bed, tables, dinning area, grand living rooms, old photos, beautiful teapots, lots of antiques… The entire Tjong A Fie Mansion is only 2 storeys, but it is very spacious with 35 rooms in the entire Mansion.
Behind the mansion is story about Hakka Chinese businessman, banker and kapitan (Chinese major) who built a large plantation business in Sumatra. Tjong A Fie’s name has been legendary in Medan and closely related to the history of the busiest and biggest city in North Sumatera. Apart from being famous as a generous man, people also knew him as a benefactor who funded the construction of some major buildings in Medan, including the Maimun Palace and the Deli Sultanate Palace.
Tjong A Fie (1860-1921) was born poor in the village of Moy Hian, in the Southern Chinese province of Guangzhou. Arriving in Sumatra with only a few pieces of silver sewn into his belt, he started off right at the bottom of society, opening a shop called "Ban Yun Tjong", but proceeded to make his fortune on Sumatra's east coast in the plantation industry. Around the turn of the century, he is said to own 75% of the land in Medan. He, and his brother Tjong Yong Hian, were instrumental in the recruitment of Chinese labourers to work in the Sumatra plantations. Between 1870 and 1933, the number of Chinese immigrant coming to work in the estates totally over 300,000.
In addition to being a planter, he was a banker and industrialist, not to mention the owner of the opium trade monopoly in northern Sumatra. Together with his elder brother Tjong Yong Hian, he became the main supplier to the plantations. He initiated the opening of the railroad to connect Medan with the port of Belawan which later became "Deli Spoorweg Maatschappij" (Deli Railroad Company). In 1913 Tjong A Fie donated the bell tower for the old Medan City Hall building. After his brother died in 1911, Tjong A Fie succeeded him as a Kapitan Cina (Majoor der Chineezen), the head of the Chinese community and intermediary between the locals and the Dutch. The Tjong brothers were prominent philantrophists in the early days of Medan. Tjong A Fie's contribution uplifted him to the level of a legendary figure in Medan society. Like his uncle Cheong Fatt Tze, he was also awarded a royal title from the Emperor of China.
Guided tour (+ complimentary coffee) is 35,000.00 IDR.
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