Why is Qiao Family Courtyard special?
The Qiao Family Courtyard is greatly admired as a very special artistic treasure and is one of the ten best attractions in Shanxi Province. It was the residential house of the well-know financier Qiao Zhiyong of Qing Dynasty. More than 50 films, TV plays selected spot and took pictures here.
Viewed from outside, the residency is serious and grand, with long yards; viewed from inside, it is splendid and orderly, reflecting the residential style of big families in feudal society in North China.
Qiao Family Courtyard Highlights
The Qiao Family Courtyard was an old Chinese residential courtyard that thrived for over two centuries. The Qiao Family Courtyard was built in during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) in the Qing Dynasty, consisting of 6 large yards and 20 small yards with 313 houses in total.
Brick carvings can be found on the wall and balusters, depicting various subjects such as flowers (traditional propitious pictures in the culture of Shanxi Province). For example, the carving on the corbie-step doorstep of the third yard shows Kylin (a mascot in Chinese culture) carrying a son to a mother figure. They caved this picture in the hope of having more male offspring.
The wood carvings are widely praised for they are extremely lifelike and possess some kind of meaning. For example, the caving of the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity can be found on the main gate of the second yard. These three gods represent all human desires, so they are very popular in China.
Beautiful gold murals are located under each eave of the compound. Some of these paintings portray fables and some others concern more prosaic subjects such as flowers, birds, railway lines, railway stations, clocks, etc. Although exposed to the wind and sun for hundreds of years, they are still shining!