Prince Gong’s Residence 恭王府


This part of Beijing, west of the historic scenic area Shishahai, which is northwest to the Forbidden City, is full of formal residences of the princes from Qing dynasty. The one that is open to the public is Prince Gong 恭亲王奕訢 (1833-98) who was also known as Kung to the West and 鬼子六 to the Chinese, due to his pro western view.


Prince Gong’s Mansion

14 Liuyin Street 柳荫街, Xicheng District,
Beijing 100009,

I was unable to visit it last year due to renovation. Reportedly, Prince Gong’s mansion was used by companies and private residents for decades. It took the government a monumental effort to move them out and restore.

Prince Gong was the sixth son of Emperor Daoguang (r. 1820-50). Gong moved into this mansion in 1851 which was originally built for Heshen, the most favored man of his great-grandpa, Emperor Qianlong (r. 1735 to 96).

It was a rainy day but the tourists are massive which makes touring less enjoyable. It consists multiple siheyuans @ ¥40 admission.

   


Tao Beile Mansion 涛贝勒府
27 Liuyin Street

Afterward, we walked on Liuyin Street and stopped at Tao Beile Mansion. Beile 贝勒 was Manchu nobility title as doro beile. Many tourists streamed by on pedicabs but the complex is closed to the public because it’s a secondary school now #13 (on Liuyin Street) and the part on Dingfu Street 定阜街 became part of Furen University.


Prince Qing’s Residence
3 Dingfu St

Continue on Dingfu Street, sandwiched between Furen University and Mei Lanfang Memorial is Prince Qing’s Mansion 庆亲王 奕劻 Yikuang (1838-1917). He was best known perhaps for his more sympathetic view toward foreigners during the Boxer Uprising in 1900 and served as the first Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet (replace the Grand Council) in 1911.

After decades of changes, there isn’t anything for the public to see – the reception guy stopped us. All I could see was bold letter signs atop a grey modern building, that reads 听党指挥 能打胜仗 作风优良 means listen to the party’s command, can win the battle, good style …

 


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