The former residence of Yanxishan was originally built in 1931. It was built continously until on the eve of the out break of the anti-Japanese war it came into being present scale (some buildings were not completed for the war). The former residence costs 1,400,000 Liang silver. The whole building complex faces the west, 1,352 meters in length and 1,197 in width. During that period, 27 yards and over 1,000 rooms were built, occupying an area of 33,000 square meters. Dudu Mansion, Deyi Pavillion (Changchun Pavillion), Shangjiangjun Mansion, the Second Master Mansion, Chuanxin Yard, Xinnan Yard, Eastern Garden, Western Garden and Ziming Maternal Yard.
The magnificent modern architectural complex is not only a precious object for studying the vicissitudes of Yan Family but also a historical remains for studying Yanxishan himself going up and down on official career in politics; the architectural complex is with vivid folk color and architectural style which combines Chinese and Western styles, presenting its distinctive cultural value and aesthetic value. There are sets of exquisite and matchless carved stones, wood carving, and brick carving, which let tourists forget to go home.
Hebian Folk Custom Museum was built in 1988 on the basis of the Former Residence of Yanxishan and was open to the public in 1989. It is a large scaled museum showing the culture of the north of Shanxi Province from different aspects and angles.
There are 99 exhibition rooms to reflect the distinctive folk custom and folk arts in the north of Shanxi Province in the period of the end of the Qing Dynasty and the earliest years of Republic of China. There are a lot of waxen images of historical figures here, such as, Zhude, Jiangjieshi, Songmeiling, Fengyuxiang, Yanxishan, Shaolizi, YanhuiQing (Wuzhouli); they reproduce acts of historical dramas happened in the ancient house. A series of historical relics including the national first-level historical relic-Sun Yat-sen’s original handwriting were exhibited on May 5, 1999 for celebrating the tenth anniversary of founding the museum.
Brief Introduction of Yanxishan:
Yanxishan was born in a landlord family in Bianhe Village of Dingxiang County on October 8, 1883. He went to old-styled private school at 9, got married at 16, went to Japan to study abroad at 21, and became Dudu (governor of a province) of Shanxi Province. He was appointed as the director of Taiyuan and Jinsui, staying in Shanxi Province for a long time. He escaped to Taiyuan Province in 1949 and passed away in Taiwan in 1960.