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The Wang Family Compound was the mansion of one of the richest families in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).
The compound occupies a total area of 25 hectares (62 acres), which includes 123 courtyards and 1,118 rooms. It is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest from Pingyao Ancient City, a popular historic area in north central China.
The compound follows the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The architecture has a magnificent scale, with five alleys, five forts, and five ancestral temples.
The courtyard layouts of the five ancient forts represent five of China’s lucky animals: the dragon, phoenix, tortoise, kylin (Chinese unicorn), and tiger.
The three architectural complexes of the compound are fully-enclosed architectures on the Yellow High Land (the loess hills of northwest China), which are closely connected with each other through bridges. In imperial China, enclosed buildings were a sign of wealthy or powerful families, and were a good design defensively.
There are only three parts open to the public. You can see ornate sculptures of stone, wood, and brick everywhere, and well-preserved antiques are on display. Walking in the compound, you can experience the luxurious life of the Wang Family.
It was built in the period 1762–1811 by descendants of the Wang Family who were one of the four richest families in the Qing Dynasty in Shanxi Province.
An ancestor of the Wang family, Wang Shi, was a peddler. With his selling skills and winning personality, gradually he became rich. Generation after generation, his family became more wealthy and powerful, therefore they decided to build a compound to protect and show off their wealth.
Entry: 66 yuan per person.
Going with a knowledgeable guide is highly advisable.
Spring and fall will probably provide the most comfortable temperatures and conditions.
The air quality is not good in winter, it is advisable to bring masks with you.
In summer it is open from 8:00am–7:00pm; in winter it is open from 8:00am–6:00pm.
Our popular Pingyao itineraries all include a visit to the Wang Family Courtyard: