Prince Gong's Mansion

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Prince Gong's Mansion (Gong Wang Fu), Beijing's largest and best-preserved Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) princely mansion, illustrates the culture and life style of Imperial China's elite. The mansion is located near Shichahai Lake, to the northwest of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

This beautiful complex with Suzhou-style gardens owes its name to Prince Gong, who helped Empress Dowager Cixi assume power; In 1851 he received this mansion as a gift from his brother, the Qing Emperor Xianfeng (1851-1862).

This fine example of ancient Chinese architecture dates from around the year 1777 and was originally the private residence of He Shen, a member of the imperial guard turned minister, who came to the attention of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796). The talented He Shen was quickly promoted to positions normally occupied by more experienced officials, including the control of finance, enabling him to acquire great wealth. The aging QianLong did nothing to curb He Shen's apparent corruption but his successor, emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820), had He Shen executed and his fortune of over 800 million ounces of silver was confiscated.

Travel info:

Address: A14, Liuyin Street, Xicheng District, Beijing. Take Trolley Bus 111, 107, or 108 and Bus 13, 701, or 823, and get off at Beihai Houmen stop.

Open hours: 8:30-17:00

Admission: 20 yuan; 60 yuan (including a guide and an acrobatic performance)

Tel: 010-66116053 66168149

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