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Pingyao Attractions

Sightseeing Pingyao


Qiao Family Mansion

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Qiao Family Mansion

This ancient Qiao Family Mansion is the residence of the famous Shanxi Merchant, Qiao Zhiyong. It gained its fame home and abroad due to the movie "the Red Lanterns" by the famous Chinese movie director Mr. Zhang Yimou.

The Qiao Family Mansion was first built in 1756 in the Qing Dynasty and renovated twice and enlarged once. When people first saw the mansion, they were astonished to find that the complex was so large and magnificent; however, few knew that the value of the mansion was less than one percent of the family's (fortune) asset. Situated in the central part of Qiao Town, Qi Xian County in Shanxi Province, it occupies an area of 8,274 square meters (about two acres) with a construction area of 3,870 square meters (about one acre). It consists of six main courtyards, twenty smaller courtyards and 313 rooms. The family built the complex like a castle for safety considerations, as well as to create tranquil surroundings in which to relax, away from the furious competition of the business world. With three sides facing the street, it has ten-meter (about 32 feet) high parapet walls (a kind of wall as high as the house, used to keep the yard safe). Some girls in large families could not resist the temptation of the outside world, so they managed to climb up the high wall to look at the outside world that was forbidden to them. Gradually, this kind of wall became known as 'Nv'er' (daughter) wall. The exquisite design and meticulous craftsmanship make these walls unrivalled.

Viewed from above, the Qiao Family Mansion looks very much like the double Chinese character of 'xi', which means happiness and luck. As one enters through the main gate, an eighty-meter (about 262 feet) long paved path leads to the main hall, at the western end of which, is the ancestral temple of the family. This path divides the mansion into two parts: the Southern Yard and the Northern Yard. The Southern Yard is further divided into three sections respectively called the Southeast Yard, the South Yard and the New Yard. The three subdivisions of the Northern Yard are respectively called the Old Yard, the Northwest Yard and the Study Yard. The given names reflect the location of the yards within the mansion. Another important feature of the mansion is the fact that the roof of every house is connected. This makes it easier for guards to protect the yard. What's more, the 140-plus chimneys on the roof all vary from each other in their design.

The Qiao Family Mansion gained its renown not only for its large scale but also for the exquisite craftsmanship reflected in the brick carving, woodcarving and murals.

China tours inclusive of visiting Qiao Family Mansion, Pingyao


Pingyao + China Tours

Train tour Beijing-Datong-Pingyao-Xian from $630.00
Train tour in the northern China, The combinations of Capital Beijing, traditional Datong, township Pingyao and ancient Xian is a perfect choice, This trip was rewarded as the Top Incentive and Cultural Program in 2011.
6 days Read Details
Beijing, Datong, Pingyao Train Tour from $687.00
Mutianyu Great Wall, Yungang Grottoes & Hanging Monastery in Datong, Pingyao ancient town, which is 14th-century Chinese style grey houses mixed with red lanterns, Shuanglin Temple, the Qiao's Grand Courtyard around Pingyao, you may enjoy different culture.
8 days Read Details
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Pingyao City Tour

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