Why is Gao’s Grand Courtyard special
If you happen to be interested in Chinese folk arts, then a visit to the Gao’s Grand Courtyard (also called Gao's Family Courtyard) is a must for your journey in Xi'an.
Gao’s Grand Courtyard is one of the well-preserved courtyards in Xi’an, listed as a key project of Sino-Norway Historical Districts Protection in 1999. It also won the "Prize for Cultural Heritage Protection in Asian Pacific Area of UNESCO in 2002". In this traditional Chinese complex, you could enjoy the architectural art of the Ming and Qing Dynasties with old buildings, antique furniture and splendid gardens.
Gao’s Grand Courtyard Highlights
With a history of 400 years, the Gao’s Grand Courtyard is the former residence of Gao Yuesong, a high ranking official in the later Ming Dynasty. Occupying an area of 4.2 acres, the courtyard has 86 rooms and 56 of them are open to the public now. Although it is a located in the bustling Muslim Street, it is so peaceful that you can't hear the vendors outside when you are walking in the courtyard.
You'll also feast your eyes with Chinese Shadow puppet play in the Gao’s Grand Courtyard. It is a form of small theatre acted by colorful figures made from leather or paper, accompanied by music and singing and manipulated by puppeteers using rods. The short play acted by local artists last 10 to 15 minutes each time. Chinese shadow play was originated in Shaanxi Province during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). It has been recognized as the "magic of the East".
If you like Chinese folk arts, it will take you a while to appreciate the hundred of paper-cut works displayed there. Compared with the paper-cut craftwork in other regions, the Shaanxi paper-cut is bolder and rough, full of local color.