Initially, the mansion belonged to Heshen, a corrupt official, but about twenty years after its construction it was transferred to Prince Gong, hence the name. It's also known as Prince Kung's Mansion and Gong Wang Fu in Chinese. The mansion has a large scale with an area of about 6 hectares (15 acres) and is composed of two parts—gardens and houses. There are more than 30 building groups inside with exquisite layout and extraordinary style.
As this mansion witnessed the historical progress of the Qing Dynasty from its peak to its demise, it carries extremely rich historical and cultural value. Therefore, people say that one mansion of Prince Gong can tell half of the Qing Dynasty history. After 28 years of renovation works, the mansion opened its doors to tourists.
The Prince Gong's Mansion is located west of Shichahai Lake, which reflects geomantic omen. According to the geomancy, there are two dragon veins in Beijing. One is where the Forbidden City is located, and another is at the line of Beihai and Houhai. The mansion is nestled exactly between Beihai and Houhai, which places it is on one of the dragon veins. Its road can be divided into three parts—middle, east, and west road. Each of them has several Siheyuans, traditional Chinese courtyards housed on all four sides.
In spring, the garden provides visitors with a lush view and pleasant weather. In autumn, from mid-October to mid-November, Beijing dresses into yellow and red colors thanks to ginkgo trees. Summers tend to be hot and humid, so it's not the best time to explore the mansion's gardens.
Also, if you go to the mansion in winter, the snow-covered houses would be a breathtaking scene. However, Beijing is a dry city and it does not snow that often over there. You should check the weather in advance to make sure that you would witness snowfalls to capture great images.
Prince Gong's Mansion offers its visitors an immersive museum experience to let them get a deep understanding of the cultural significance of the place. The visiting program includes a full tour of the mansion, tea ceremony, typical Bejing treats sampling, and traditional folklore performances. Curious minds will enjoy the exhibition on the Qing Dynasty history that features replicas and photos of cultural artifacts.
When is the best time to explore the mansion?
Exploring Prince Gong's Mansion is best between mid-October and April, as the weather is favorable for visitors to tour its lush gardens and courtyards. From mid-October to mid-November, the trees around the mansion display fantastic colors, creating a mesmerizing view. Show more
What is the precise location of Prince Gong's Mansion?
Located within Beijing, China, Prince Gong's Mansion is west of Shichahai Lake between Beihai and Houhai. Chinese geomancy believes that it is on one of the dragon veins of Beijing. The mansion's buildings, courtyards, and garden all reflect traditional Chinese architecture, providing glimpses into China's rich culture beyond the experience of touring the site. Show more
What is the history behind the construction of the mansion?
During the Qing Dynasty era, Prince Gong received the mansion, which was initially built for Heshen, a corrupt official of the era. Historically and culturally, the mansion played a significant role in the rise and downfall of the Qing Dynasty. The mansion remained under renovation for 28 years and is now open to tourists to enjoy its rich cultural history and architectural magnificence. Show more
What are some of the unique architectural features of the mansion?
The Chinese traditional architecture of the Qing Dynasty era shines in the grandeur and delicacy of Prince Gong's Mansion. With over 30 building groups inside, the mansion not only represents the fusion of northern and southern Chinese architectural styles but also displays Siheyuans, which are typical traditional courtyards composed of a central courtyard enclosed by rooms, corridors, walls, and gates. Show more
What experiences besides touring does the mansion offer tourists?
In addition to the mansion tour, Prince Gong's Mansion provides an immersive experience for visitors, including a tea ceremony and traditional Beijing treats. The mansion also features a museum with replicas and photos of cultural artifacts from the Qing Dynasty era. This multifaceted experience provides in-depth exposure to the cultural significance of Prince Gong's Mansion to deeply curious minds. Show more