Colorful traditional culture as well as small crowds make winter the perfect time to travel around Beijing. As we all known, Beijing is an ancient city with countless old temples, gorgeous palaces and classic gardens. So hurry up and we will guide you around the best-kept Princely mansion – Prince Gong's Palace.
Gong's Palace, situated in the Western Street of Qian Hai, occupies
about 61000 square meters in the center of Beijing City. In Chinese,
Prince Gong's Palace is also called "Gongwangfu"(恭王府,Gōng wángfǔ) by
many people since it is a princely mansion owned by Prince Gong. The
history of Prince Gong's Palace can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty
and it is known as the largest and best-preserved Princely mansion of
Beijing up till now. The host of Prince Gong's Palace – Prince Gong
(Heshen) is the China's first "foreign minister", who contributed a lot
to some calamitous events of Qing Dynasty. He is so handsome and
excellent that is soon promoted to a high position. Although he gained a
lot of reputations in the early period of his life, he finally acquired
great wealth and became one of the most perfidious Manchu Qing
officials. In the past, the Prince Gong's Palace heavily guarded, but
today it has become a popular tourist resort, attracting thousands of
visitors every day.
In fact, Prince Gong's Palace is consisted of 2
parts, the living quarter and garden. Both of them are famous for the
classic and magnificent architecture style. As a typical courtyard
house, the living quarter in Prince Gong's Palace can be divided into 5
courtyards from south to north. Among those 5 coutyards, Qing Yi Hall is
the most famous one with the hook connection structure, which is very
similar to Ningshougong in Forbidden City. Inside the hall, a
superb-designed heating stove can be found there, huge and spacious. If
you stand on the central line, you can easily figure out the main hall,
the rear hall and the other rooms.
As for the garden in Prince
Gong's Palace, part of it is located in the northern side of the living
quarter. Like most of Chinese traditional garden, it has pavilions,
rockeries, corridors, pools, fountains and so forth, which are in
elegant and special layout. In many people's eyes, it is a perfect
illustration of ancient Chinese courtyard and recognized as the "The
Grand View Garden” in reality. Actually The Grand View Garden is not
existed in our real life, but a majority of visitors believe that Xueqin
Cao`s description of it must has something to do with Prince Gong's
Palace. By the way, when you take a trip to Prince Gong's Palace, you
may also have an opportunity to taste local snacks and listening to
Beijing Opera. It seems that you pass through to the ancient times and
become a prince as Heshen.
A tour to Prince Gong's Palace can not
only let you experience the lifestyle of the privileged classes in Qing
Dynasty, but also help you to gain a deeper understanding of the
cultural value of China.
Reference, Perfect Winter Trip--Prince Gong's Palace
More China 6 day tour in Beijing information from China Tour Advisors.