Now if you know me personally and what I like, you will know that I am a huge fan of ancient history, and I absolutely love visiting ancient historical relics / places.
Do not ask me why, as I tend to contradict myself as I am a huge scaredy cat when it comes to creepy stuff as well as am terrified of ghosts, but it is the feeling of walking side by side with a colourful history of the world...
Given a time machine, I would love to step back a thousand years in any era... be in the Indian , Chinese, Japanese, Gael, Viking, anything....that is me... So when I travel overseas, it is all those historical sites that fascinates me endlessly...
Prince Gong or Prince Kung's Mansion in Beijing is just one of them in Beijing, China....
Prince Gong's Mansion is located near Shichahai Lake, to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing. It is the best preserved mansion in China. Prince Gong’s Mansion covers an area of 61,120 square meters and has more than 30 buildings.
The mansion takes an area of 32,260 square meters and the park occupies the construction area of 28,860 square meters. It is 330 meters long and 180 meters wide.
I was there early in the morning first thing to avoid the crowd and it was the best time to visit it... When the gates opened, we enter and walk a short distance to get out tickets. Entry to this place only cost 70 Yuan... and worth every Yuan... I think this is definitely my top 5 favourite places in the whole Beijing... LOL
Let's take a step back in time.... and check out the history of this amazing mansion...
It was built to be the private residence of He Shen, a favorite minister of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. He Shen was said to be a very handsome and versatile. In the early years when he just became a court official, he was diligent, upright and won the love of the people.
Eventually, the flaws within the feudal system caused He Shen to change his ways to a corrupted route. He Shen had a lot of power, and there was no effective supervisory system to check his insatiable greed. He knew how to please the emperor and consequently won his favor and protection. The other officials, both at the central and local governments, were worried of his power. He Shen became one of China’s most famous corrupted officials and one of the masters of Prince Gong Mansion.
Prince Gong Mansion then became the property of Prince Yixin, the fourth son of Kang Xi Emperor , who was crowned to be Prince Gong of late Qing Dynasty after He Shen died. It is one of the reasons why it was named Prince Gong Mansion. Emperor Qianlong was said to be born in this mansion
Two stone lions stand as silent sentinels at the main gate, and magnificent buildings stand to the fore of the mansion, with an elegant garden at the rear. On the wall of the main hall hangs a plaque inscribed with three characters "Bao Guang Shi" in the calligraphy of Emperor Xianfeng.
The buildings at the forefront of the mansion are on three axis, and apart from a two-story building consisting of ninety-nine and half rooms, all are built in the traditional style. Duofu Study is on the eastern axis, and its structure is in the Ming style.
On each of the two side axis are four courtyards, the second courtyard on the western axis is very spacious. In the third courtyard, called Xijin Studio, there is a seven-room, exquisitely furnished hall.
All the beams and pillars are made of nanmu, and its sandalwood partitions are reminiscent of those found in Ningshou Palace in the Forbidden City. Between the buildings and the rear garden there stands a two-story building.
There is a small exhibition hall/ museum there where you can actually see old pictures , costumes, models, seals and so on...
A panoramic view sand table located in the center of the main hall displays a magnificent view of the Mansion after the renovation ....Isn't this huge or what...
This mini exhibition inside this hall has a large collection of cultural relics from the Palace Museum, National Museum, Beijing Art Museum and other associate museums, and precious files from the Number One Archive of China’s History.
Among them, Baihong Blade Emperor Dao Guang gave to his sixth son Yi Yi, Prince Regent Zai Feng’s royal seal, written orders sent by the Prince Regent Dorgon in the first year of Emperor Shun Zhi’s reign, and other princes’ drawings and calligraphy, are all national treasure level relics. It is the first time for many cultural relics open to the public.
The feeling getting to view of these amazing relics was nothing short of awe.. I would almost imagine how it was all those centuries ago...
And as you can see this mansion is absolutely huge and there are just so many areas to explore.. when my daughter and I began our exploration, we thought an hour or 2 would be enough but we spent about 3 hours there and it was not enough to cover everything....
After all the walking, we have take some time to rest as well... and believe me, there are many scenic spots to rest your feet and take a breather or two before continuing your explorations...
Every corner, nook and cranny of this lovely mansion was interesting, breathtaking and just downright picturesque....
If you are a photographer or fond of photography, I can assure you that you would really be totally engrossed in taking pictures here at this place...
The garden in Prince Gong's Mansion is named Cuijin, meaning concentrated cream of the most beautiful flowers, and to this day it lives up to its name.
Prince Gong invited hundreds of skillful craftsmen to build this park into a park with combination of South China classic gardens and North China construction layout. The garden covers 28,000 square meters, and is surrounded by man-made hills on four sides.
The main peak, constructed from Taihu rocks, is in the north. The garden has an arched stone gate in typical Western architectural style, and upon entering the garden, one can see the five-meter high Dule Peak, which is a rock procured from Lake Tai in southern China.
There was even a most adorable little duck house for the ducks in the pond.....
Behind it is the Bat Pond (Bat is a homonym of happiness in Chinese). Beyond the pond stands the Anshan Hall and opposite, at the center of the garden, is a hill bearing a stone tablet inscribed with the Chinese character "fu" (happiness) in the calligraphy of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1723). Behind the hill are masterpieces of garden architecture, with more than 20 scenic spots.
Behind this amazing place bamboo garden and also a peony garden, however the peonies were not in bloom so I did not get to see them......
Prince Gong’s Mansion used to be the king of those mansions at that time. It can be said that Prince Gong’s Mansion has collected all the essences of those existing mansions in Beijing. People always say that it is the “Pearl in the Shicha Sea”. Some people even believe that it is the model of the Daguan Park referred in the book “A Dream of Red Mansion”
Hehehe... don't mind me, there was also a photo studio kind of place here where you can rent or borrow the robes to wear and fantasize of yourself as someone important back in those era and I just could not resist that opportunity... LOL
For more info, be sure to check out : http://www.pgm.org.cn:8088/english/index.shtml
So there you have it... if you are in Beijing, be sure NOT to miss this amazing mansion... it is absolutely well preserved and extraordinarily beautiful....
after i get back from europe, this should be in my travel list :DReplyDelete
Beijing full of history. I should plan my next trip to BeijingReplyDelete
if you are a historical fan like me, you should... heheheDelete
Wow! Definitely a must visit destination. Last time I went into Beijing, did not get to visit all the historical sites. :(ReplyDelete
Yeah.. that is always the case... in mine, I tried to fit everything I want to see in but not enough time to enjoy the place fully.....Delete
Wow you really do like history don't you? Will keep this place in mind if I ever have the chance to visit Beijing one day :)ReplyDelete
crazy over historical places.... hahahahDelete
I been to Beijing in before and I think I miss this place. Will be going again soon for more discovery!ReplyDelete
Yeah... should visit this place... it is amazing....Delete
The place so beautiful. My next mission is to visit China and understand more of their culture.ReplyDelete
After reading this, I think its time to plan a trip to Beijing with my family and discover our roots :DReplyDelete
great idea... hehehe.....I love historical places... and you can find me at historical sites... if I could help it....Delete
Really nice article Miera. I really love Beijing. Not been there in many many years. Great food and great culture. The haze is a little too much for my liking though. Keep up the travel posts. :)ReplyDelete
Yeah, I know right... I was absolutely fortunate that when I was there the weather was perfect and the view clear.....really lucky knowing how hazy and hot Beijing can be!!!Delete
Missed a lot of places when I was in Beijing. It's simply too huge a city to spend just five days there. One thing I noticed, even though some places are just retail stores, they still built them like palaces. LOLReplyDelete
I know... tell me about it... I think that they are just recycling some of the buildings...so retail outlets are made in these buildings...Delete
Such a beautiful place! Beijing are in my travel list, will go to these place.. :)ReplyDelete
Absolutely.... it is amazing...Delete
I've been wanting to visit Beijing! This would be added into my itinerary ! Thank you for the many photos!!ReplyDelete
the pleasure is mine and I tend to go overboard with my photos... hahahaDelete
I plan to travel to Beijing next year with my parents. Miera, can please share with me which travel company and how much was your package for my reference? Thanks in advance ya :)ReplyDelete
I did not follow any packages.. all of the above was self discover and self travel... and all within reach....by LRT/Monorail... Check this out if you want.....Delete
wow love the pics, I bet you walked alot. 3 hours? Yeah I think is never enough time to cover, maybe you will need 4.5 or 5 hours for cover.ReplyDelete
I walk so very much.... I really burn a lot of calories there... hahaha.... but well... had to finish trip fast as I squeezed too many places in my 5 day itinerary... huhuhuDelete
I would like to put China in my next travel list. Need a travelling partner badly. lol.. :D thanks for sharing this.ReplyDelete
Very detailed post dear :) I'd definitely visit Beijing again.ReplyDelete
Me too but before that I want to see a lot of other places too...Delete
wah.. it looks so fun and historical. perhaps should be in my travel listReplyDelete
If you like imperial chinese history,like I do, it really should be on your bucket list.....Delete
I have heard some much about Beijing but until now didn't get the chance to visit the place. This is surely on my list and your photos are gorgeous.ReplyDelete
Thank you ... my pictures are just so so... look at those professional photos and mine is put to shame... huhuhuDelete
you totally rock the traditional outfit, i will surely think you are the empress, nice place really seriouslyReplyDelete
.... and so I was fantasizing..... hahahaha... fantasy is good... reality is a whole different bitter pill LOLDelete
A lovely place to visit. And i love how the place is so photography worthy. Btw , you look like you should be the empress ;)ReplyDelete
hehehee......like I said to Leona... it's just fantasy... being the real thing would be a whole different bitter pill....Delete
when only i can go travelling again.. oh my, wishful thinking.ReplyDelete
out your heart and mind to it and start.... LOLDelete
typo.... "PUT" not outDelete
Best dear. China not my favourite destination but looking at the photo. I should have put it into future travel listReplyDelete
It used not to be my favourite destination when I was younger... I so did not want to go there, as I wanted to go to other places... but crazily... now I am older, I want to..... I have a few other Chinese/ Asian destinations in mind... so well... let's see where the tide and time bring me next... huhuhDelete
Best dear. China not my favourite destination but looking at the photo. I should have put it into future travel listReplyDelete
This is great. I enjoy reading your adventures and I am glad you got to go there. Continue doing what you love doing, you inspire me.ReplyDelete
Thanks Reia.. that is a lot coming from you... I envy you your writing ability, youth and beauty on the other hand... LOL and I am glad we met each other and are friendsDelete
nice pictures! should make a slide so can add in unlimited photos & loop :DReplyDelete
Thanks Arisa... appreciate it......Delete
I think my mom will likes these places with historical scenes, thanks for sharing :)ReplyDelete
Love the pictures on the imperial mansion Miera! The walk looks extremely scenic, would have been lovely to photograph :)ReplyDelete
I never go to Beijing.ReplyDelete
Maybe should plan a trip there in near future!