- Houzhaolou Building
- A Long Corridor
- Xiyangmen Gate
- Duofuxuan Pavilion
- Yigongmen Gate
Prince Gong's Mansion is Beijng's most complete example of historical mansions, which is situated in a charming Hutong district west of Qian Hai. It usually combines with the Hutong walking tour around Shichahai.
This fine example of ancient Chinese architecture was constructed around the year 1777 and was originally built for minister He Shen's Residence during the Emperor Qianlong's reign in the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). From a young age, He Shen got the trust of Emperor Qianlong, and was able to make large promotion in the imperial administration. In this way he became very wealthy. Because of accusations of corruption, He Shen was executed and the mansion was confiscated in 1799, under the reign of Emperor Jiaqing, the 17th and youngest son of Emperor Qianlong.
In 1851, Emperor Xianfeng (grandson of Emperor Jiaqing) assigned the palace to his brother Prince Gong. It is his name that is currently given to the compound.
In 1921 Prince Gong's grandson had to hand over the property as a mortgage to the Catholic Church. It was bought by the Furen Catholic University for use as a university buildings, and afterwards for the Beijing Normal University and then for the Chinese Music Academy. Till 1982 it was declared as one of the Chinese National Cultural Heritages in Beijing. Since November 1996 the buildings and the gardens have become a new publicly open scenic spot for tourists.
Covering 60,000 square meters (14.8 acres) of land in the heart of Beijing, it is the world's largest courtyard house. Consisting of the living quarter and a garden, the Prince Gong Residence is imposing and magnificent. Rooms and yards are laid out in turnings and in maze, while the scenery is exquisite and delicate. In the old days there was murmuring stream flowing through the garden which has many similarities with the Grand View Garden.
The living quarter containing the mansion buildings is located in the south, including five Siheyuan courtyards from south to north in file. On the central line stand one behind another, three structures: the Main Hall, the Rear Hall and a 160-meters-long building with more than 40 rooms.
The garden lies at the back of the residence, covering an area of 28,000 square meters (6.9 acres). The complex has over 20 twenty scenic spots, pavilions, ponds and artificial hills including rock originating from the Taihu Lake in Jiangsu. In the stone cave of the rockery above the lake, there is the Emperor Kangxi's inscription of Chinese character (Good Fortune).
CNY 40 (Entrance Fee);
CNY 70 (including watching Beijing Opera and performances)
Opening Hours: 07:30 - 16:30 (Mar. to Nov.); 08:30 - 16:30 (Dec. to Feb.)
Take Bus 13, 42, 107, 111, 118, 701, 810, 823 or 850 and get off at North Gate of Beihai.