The Former Residences of Six Famous Beijing Celebrities

1. The Former Residence of Song Qingling

song qingling former houseThe Former Residence of Song Qingling

The former residence of Song Qingling lies on the northern shore of Houhai in the Shisha Lake area, one of Beijing's most beautiful scenic spots. The lake ripples in front of the residence, appearing to stretch endlessly away into the horizon. A breeze off the lake blows among the willow trees on the bank, whispering songs from the past. The memorial area of the residence is dotted with towers, terraces and pavilions. Spending a quiet afternoon among the meandering lanes and verandas, surrounded by the lake scene, the charming, rocky buttresses, the green, shady trees and the many fragrant flowers will certainly put your mind at ease.

The courtyard is uniquely calm and elegant. The house, with a total area of more than 20-thousand square meters, has a living area of about 5-thousand square meters. The residence was formerly the mansion garden of Prince Zaifeng, the father of Aixinjueluo-Fuyi, the last emperor of China. At that time, the garden was known as the Western Garden (西花园).

  • Hours of Operation: The residence is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from April 1st to October 31st, and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from November 1st to March 30th.
  • Price: The entrance fee is 5 yuan for students and 20 yuan for adults. Discounts are available for groups.
  • Transportation: You can take any of Buses No. 107, 124, 206, 210, 27, 305, 380, 409, 5, 55, 60, 625, 635, 670, 82, 83, 872, 877, 880, 882, or 884; the inner-ring and outer-ring lines 204 or 44; or fast line 880 to go to the residence.

2. The Houses of Li Lianying, the Imperial Head Eunuch during the Qing Dynasty

Many houses in Beijing were bestowed by the emperors to their eunuchs, such as in Silijian Hutong, Zhonggusi Hutong, Ciqiku Hutong, Zhiranju Hutong, Jiucuju Hutong, Xixin Hutong, Laku Hutong, Gongjian Hutong, etc.

Among them, numerous houses from inner to outer Beijing, covering an area of three-fourths of the city, were inhabited by Li Lianying, the imperial head eunuch.

3. The Former Residence of Lu Xun

The Former  Residence of Lu Xun.JPGThe Former Residence ofThe Former Residence of Lu Xun

The house at No. 19 Ertiao Neikong Menkou, Fuchengmen, Xicheng district was bought in December 1923 and was designed and renovated in the spring of 1924 by Mr. Lu Xun. From May 1924 to August 1926, Mr. Lu dwelled here before moving to Shanghai. When he returned from Shanghai to visit his mother, in May 1926 and November 1932, he lived here as well. This house was the last residence of Lu Xun in Beijing.

  • Hours of Operation: The house is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, and it is closed on Mondays.
  • Price: The entrance fee is 5 yuan for adults and 3 yuan for students.
  • Transportation: By metro, stop at Fuchengmen Station and exit from Exit B. Or take Tram No. 102, 103, or 101. Buses No. 13, 19, 21, 42, 44, 46, 56, 121, 335, 336, 387, 409, 603, 604, 702, 709, 716, 812, 814, 816, 823, 846, 850, and 855, and Yuntong buses No. 102 and 106 can get you there as well.

4. The Former Residence of Lao She

The former residence of Lao She is located at No. 19 Fengfu Hutong, Dengshikou, Dongcheng district. Lao She lived in 10 residences totally before and after the liberation of Beijing, including nine residences before the liberation and one after. The house at No. 10 Fengsheng Hutong, Naizi Mansion (today known as No. 19 Fengsheng Hutong, West Street in Dengshikou) was his residence from the liberation of Beijing until his death. The period of time that he spent at this residence was the most glorious of his life.

  • Transportation: You can take Bus No. 104, 108, 104, 111, 803, or 420, stop at West Dengshikou Station, and then go west. Or you can take Bus No. 2 or 60 and stop at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital Station, and then go east.
  • Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (entrance is forbidden after 4:00 p.m.) from Tuesday to Sunday. The residence is closed on Mondays. Group visits should make an appointment more than one day in advance.

5. The Last Residence of Guo Moruo, the Talented and Romantic Scholar of China

The famous last residence of Guo Moruo was the private garden of He Shen, the celebrated cabinet minister from the Emperor Qianlong period during the Qing Dynasty. The property fell into disuse after being ransacked by the Emperor Jiaqing, and during the Republic of China period, the progeny of Prince Gong sold it to Darentang, a Chinese medicine shop owned by the Le Family, who used it as a mansion. In 1963, Guo Moruo moved in and spent the last 15 years of his life here.

  • Hours of Operation: From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. The residence is closed on Mondays, on New Year's Day and during Spring Festival.
  • Price: The entrance fee is 20 yuan for adults and 10 yuan for students.
  • Transportation: Buses No. 5, 13, 42, 60, 82, 107, 111, 118, 124, or 702 will get you there. Descend at Beimen at the North Sea Station.

6. The Memorial House of Mei Lanfang

With an area of 716 square meters, the memorial house of Mei Lanfang, a famous Peiking Opera entertainer, is located at No. 9 Huguosi Street, Xicheng district. Mei Lanfang spent the last 10 years of his life in this quiet and comfortable courtyard house until he died in 1961. The house was opened to the public in October 1986. A horizontal inscribed board hangs on the red-lacquered gate of the house, with Chinese characters written by Deng Xiaoping denoting the residence as the memorial house of Mei Lanfang.

  • Transportation: Take Buses No. 13, 22, 105, 107, 111, or 118.

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I updated this article on April 8, 2014
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