china edition


Pingyao - Wang Family Compound

Shanxi - Datong - Pingyao - Taiyuan

This compound is situated some 150 kilometer south of Taiyuan. The Wang business enterprise commenced during the Ming dynasty and was a flourishing conglomerate by the middle of the Qing dynasty, encompassing farming and commerce as well as politics. A massive mansion was built as a monument to the glory of this powerful family.

Wang Family CompoundThe construction lasted for more than half a century and the building extended over an area of 31,956 square m. Consisting of 54 courtyards and 1,052 rooms, the Wang compound is the epitome of Oriental domestic architecture.

The buildings have been set into the hillside and protected by a fortified curtain wall upon a loess ramp, thus creating a veritable castle. The east gate faces the Mianshan Mountain which rises to 2,000 m in height, while the buildings inside are divided into 3 distinct groups known as the Gaojiaya, the Hongmenbao and the Ancestral Temples.

The buildings of the Wang Compound are adorned and surrounded by a rich display of sculpture and carvings. This fantastic collection includes work in stone, brick and wood. Ranging from the eaves of houses, roof ridges, interlocking joints of timbers, wall screens, window frames, shrines and decorative stone drums there is a profusion of carving.