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The Chang Family Manor and Estate in Shanxi

The Chang Family ManorThe Chang Family Manor

It is recorded that the Grand Courtyard of the Chang Family is the largest folk residence in Shanxi Province.

An ancestor of the Chang family, Chang Jinquan, started trading and, generation after generation, his family became rich merchants.

After that, the Chang family became a respected and influential family in Shanxi Province. Therefore, they built the courtyard to show off their wealth.

  • Chinese: 常家庄园 Chángjiā Zhuāngyuán/channg-jyaa jwung-ywen/'Chang Family Manor and Grounds'
  • Location: Chewang Village, Yuci District, 32 km(19.9 miles) Shanxi Province, in between Beijing and Xi'an, in north China
  • Built: during the Qing Dynasty from the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1661–1772) to the end of the reign (1875-1908) of Emperor Guangxu(1908)
  • Area:120,000 square meters (29.6acres), comprising about 50 tall buildings and 1,500 houses
  • Time needed:2–3 hours

Layout

The Grand Courtyard of the Chang Family is made up of four small groups of buildings. There is a temple in the center. As it is 250 meters away from each of the four groups, it forms the shape of a cross.

The Chang Family ManorThe Chang Family Manor

In the layout of the courtyard, its major building is in the North Garden. Every major house has front and back courtyards. In each front courtyard, rooms are built alongside the street. There are five wings of each home on each of the east and west sides.

On the east side, there are different kinds of gatehouses. In the middle of the courtyard, there is a festoon gate.

As for the back courtyard, it is rectangular in shape. The building area is twice the size of the front courtyard. There are 8–10 rooms in the back courtyard. The buildings fully display the riches of the Chang family.

The Grand Courtyard of the Chang Family

There are three characteristics of the Grand Courtyard of the Chang Family. First, there is a wooden decorated archway in front of every major house.

Each archway is small but well decorated. On each side of the archway, there are beautiful carved images. There are many different styles of art there, which fill the whole courtyard with many beautiful objects.

Second, the major houses are connected by gardens and small gates. When entering the courtyards, tourists can always find different ways to get to other places.

All of the places are decorated with small bridges, pavilions, and flowers. It is as if you are visiting a beautiful garden.

Third, in the courtyard, you can always find different wall paintings as well as wooden and stone paintings.

Elaborate Paintings

Most of the wall paintings are relics from the Qing Dynasty.

The stone carvings in Chang Family ManorThe stone carvings in Chang Family Manor

As for the stone paintings, there are stone guard bars and walls. Most of them are made of fine stones.

Most of the wood paintings are on the door frames, screens, furniture, and wood carvings. It is a pity that the wood paintings were unable to be protected very well as some of them have lost their colors.

The Grand Courtyard of the Chang Family is representative of ancient merchants' houses. However, as it is also famous for its cultural circumstances, it is quite unique among those rich merchants’ houses.

Travel Essentials

  • It is open from 8am–6pm.
  • It is highly recommended to go there with a guide.

Visiting Chang Family Manor with China Highlights

If you are planning to visit Changjia Park, we are more than happy to offer a guide service and to tailor-make a tour for you.