Lots of foreign visitors come to China with the hope of finding out traditional examples but in vain. Therefore too many people leave the country disappointed at that China they were looking for has been replaced by the impressive skyscraper blocks, eight-lane highways. The Qin Family’s Courtyard may be the place that they are searching.
Located some 90 kilometers northwest of Guilin, Qin Family’s Courtyard is an ancient village dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The village was built by descendants of a dismissed Ming official who was exiled to the area with his family. Over years, generations of the family lived here and extended it to a big building complex.
The village is filled with original Ming and Qing Dynasty buildings with huge stone foundations, brick walls, well decorated tiles and elegantly carved windows and doors. The complex is consisted of 23 buildings, covering an area of 15,000 square kilometers. Architecture here mainly takes shape of quadrangle, typically traditional Chinese architectural form which can commonly be seen around the country. In the middle is a parvis and rooms were symmetrically arranged around. The largest building in the village was said to be built at the end of the Ming Dynasty. But unfortunately, three fires in ancient time consumed it and left behind them a few darkened pillars. The stale in front, however, has survived but rain drops over the centuries have marked an array of small holes in it.
The village actually has remained so many features of Chinese villages in Ming and Qing dynasty that many films were shot here.
- How to get there? First take a one hour ride from Guilin to Xing’an Town and then take a bus or taxi further there.
- The best time to visit: Late spring and autumn is the best time to go, when the area are blanketed by blooming yellow flowers and colors in autumn will give you a feeling of harvest.
- Entrance fee: Free.