The largest and best preserved Qing dynasty mansion in Beijing, Prince Gong’s Mansion is a fascinating example of traditional Chinese architecture and an insight into life among Beijing’s elite. It is split into two parts – the mansion and gardens. As well as traditional Chinese halls, pavilions and courtyards, you will also find interesting rockeries, ponds and arches.
The mansion had a tumulous history – originally belonging to the wealthy official Heshen. When a new emperor took over, Heshen was executed for corruption and the mansion passed onto Prince Qing. 50 years later, it’s ownership was transferred again to Prince Gong, after whom the mansion is now named.
Western Style Gate
Indicating the growing influence of foreign trade on the architectural styles at the time, the Western Style Gate is unique in Beijing.
Located in a cave under the central hill, the Fu Stele (“Fu” being the character for good wishes or happiness) is famous for being written by the Qing dynasty Emperor Kangxi.
Grand Theatre House
Located to the northeast of the mansion, the Grand Theatre House can hold over 200 people and is used for weddings, funerals and Peking Opera performances.
To the west of the mansion, you can wander around the picturesque lake, exploring the small pagodas and walkways while watching small fish swim around you.
Tickets: 40 RMB.
Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:30 (winter), 8:00 – 18:30 (summer).
Recommended visit: 3 hours.
Transport: take metro line 6 to Beihai Bei (北海北), leave via exit B, walk North for 3 minutes along Sanzuoqiao Hutong (三座桥胡同), turn left at the crossroads onto Qianhai West Street (前海西街), walk 2 minutes and you’ll find the mansion on your right.