This is an elegant, graceful and quiet place There are winding corridors, Qing-style pavilions, circled lakes and rockeries The green trees and grass as well as the fragrant flowers will make you feel relaxed
Information on this page last updated:2016-11-24 17:40:26
Situated at 46 North Rive Street in the Houhai Lake area of the Xicheng District, the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling was once a garden of one of the Qing Dynasty princes' mansions. The area along the banks of Houhai Lake is quiet and beautiful, with shady willow trees lining the streets. Water from Houhai Lake has been diverted through an underground channel into a stream that winds its way through the garden. This lovely Beijing garden is elegantly laid out with rocks and ponds set off by pines, cypresses and flowers. Winding corridors link traditional-style halls and pavilions in the garden. The tasteful layout gives the garden an atmosphere of elegant antiquity.
Originally, the grounds of the mansion contained numerous buildings: the front hall, named Happiness on the Hao River Bridge, after a story from Zhuang Zi; the Pavilion for Listening to the Orioles; and the eastern hall, called the Hall for Gazing at Flowers. Linked to the South Building by a winding corridor was the Waves of Kindness Pavilion. Exquisite large rockeries are dotted with structures such as the Fan Pavilion and the Room for Listening to the Rain. Ponds, fine rocks, shady trees, flowers and lawns all add to the enchantment of the garden. But over the years the whole garden fell into disrepair.
After the founding of New China in 1949, the Party and government made plans to build a residence for Soong Ching Ling in Beijing, and decided to renovate one of the princes' gardens for the purpose. New buildings were constructed to the west of the mansion's main hall to create a quiet, secluded courtyard as it stands today. Soong Ching Ling moved into the mansion in 1963 and worked, studied and lived here until she passed away on May 29, 1981.
A short way inside the main gate is a grape arbor, and nearby in a flowerbed stands a wooden tablet carved with a brief introduction to the history of the mansion. Walking northeast from the grape arbor, one comes to the exhibition halls. The auxiliary exhibition hall served as a guest room where Soong Ching Ling received guests from around China.
The first exhibition hall is divided into eight sections, each representing a period of Soong Ching Ling's life. The exhibits include large numbers of photographs, documents and objects of interest depicting her childhood and student days, her marriage to Sun Yat-Sen, her participation in political activities, the organization of the Association to Safeguard the Rights of the Chinese People and her support of the advocates of resistance to the Japanese invasion. Also on display is a quotation of Soong Ching Ling's most famous sayings, taken from her essay "Sun Yat-Sen and His Cooperation with the Communist Party of China." "Sun Yat-Sen's 40 years of political struggle for the Chinese nation and people reached their peak in the last years of his life. The high point of his development came with his decision to cooperate with the Communist Party of China and work for the Chinese revolution."
The second exhibition hall is divided into seven sections with the following titles: Invitation to Come to the North; One of the Founders of New China; Close Comrade-in-Arms of the Party, Beloved Leader of the People; Pioneer in Safeguarding Peace Envoy of the Chinese people; Study; Life and Work; Great Communist Fight; and the Grief of a Nation, the Sorrow of the World. The third exhibition hall is the Children's Hall, reflecting Soong Ching Ling's great affection and concern for the youth of China. She once said: "Children are our future, our hope; they are our country's most valuable asset." Included in the exhibition is a painting of a basket of longevity peaches, presented to Soong Ching Ling with the affection that the children of New China feel for her.
Address: No. 46 north side of Houhai, Xicheng District, Beijing
Take Bus No. 5, 27, 44, 55, 83, 305, 315, 380, 409, 625, 635, 909, 919, 949 to Deshengmen station; take Subway Line 2 to Jishuitan station B exit and go towards the east to Binhai Hutong, Denei Street.