Perfect Winter Trip--Prince Gong’s Palace
2013-11-12 chloe Sights Beijing 1418
Pure snowflake, 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.
Prince 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) 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.