The Qiao's Grand Courtyard
Last updated by fadri at 2014/5/7
Among the residences in China, the most famous are folk residences in Shan’xi Province and south of An’hui Province. In Shanxi Province, folks along the River Fen were the richest, so that residences in the Town of Qi and the ancient City of Pingyao have been the most famous folk residence. As the old saying goes, “the Great Palace in Beijing, the Terra_Cotta Warriors in Xi’an and the Residences in Shanxi are all great treasures”. The residents in the town of Qi combined all of the styles and essences of of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The Qiao’s Grand Courtyard is the most famous one.
It began to be constructed in the Qing Dynasty by the famous capitalist Qiao Zhiyong (18l8—1907). The splendid houses are not only attractions in the Qiao’s Grand Courtyard, but also the exquisite technology of architecture. Scriptures, stone carves, wooden sculpts and color paintings could be seen everywhere. Over 30 teleplays were shot here, including the famous “Red Lantern”
The courtyard was built in a closed cycle. Overlooked from above, the whole courtyard, covering 10642㎡, looks like two Chinese characters “喜” (means pleasure), including building area of 4175㎡. The whole courtyard was divided into six big yards and 20 small yards in the 6 ones. There are 313 rooms in these yards. The grand courtyard, with three walls facing the streets, is not connected with any other residences. The closed cycle wall is over 10 meters high and 1 meter thick. The alleys connecting the big and small yards are convenient to patrol.
The main gate is facing the east, with high top on it, alleyway in the middle and brick sculpt on the opposite site. Entering the main gate, a paved path will lead you to an ancestral temple standing opposite against the main gate.
All of the yards are in construction. Masters lived in the main house with tiles, others lived in the wing yard, in the houses with brick top, which represented the traditional ethics and moral principles. There are four main buildings and six pavilions in the main courtyard.
Folk Custom Museum in the Town of Qi
In the year 1986, the Qiao’s Grand Courtyard was opened to the public as the Folk Custom Museum in the Town of Qi. About 5,000 valuable cultural relics have been exhibited here, reflecting the folk customs in the mid Shanxi Province. Customs of farming, solar term, amenity, accommodation, transportation, commerce and crafts have all been exposited together with history information and treasures of Qiaos.
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