Tianyi Pavilion

Tianyi Pavilion of Ningbo, Ningbo Attractions, Ningbo Travel GuideLocated on the west of the Moon Lake or at 22, Tianyi Street, downtown Ningbo, Tianyi Pavilion was built between 1561 to 1566 (40th--45th year of Jiajing reign in Ming Dynasty), has a history of over 400 years and used to be a library of Fan Qin, a senior military officer of Ming Dynasty. As the extant oldest private book-collecting tower in China and Asia, the Tianyi Pavilion is also one of the three oldest family libraries in the world.

Originally, it had collected more than 70,000 volumes of books. After over 400 years of vicissitudes, there still have kept a large collection of about 300,000 ancient books, among which 80,000 are rare only-existing copies, mostly woodcut and hand-written copies of the Song and Ming dynasties. They are rich sources of local chronicles and imperial examinations and are precious materials for the study of history, people, social customs and habits.

For centuries it has been reputed to be the "city of books in South China" for its giant collection of highly-valued ancient books and documents. For those men of letters traveling to Ningbo, a trip to its Tianyi Pavilion has always been a craved experience. However, during the past several hundred years, the library used to be the private property of the Fan family, an absolutely restricted neighborhood. As a result no more than twenty visitors could have a privilege to step into the premises during the past several hundred years. Today Tianyi Pavilion is a vault chosen by the State government to deposit Ningbo Tianyi Pavilion, Ningbo Attractions, Ningbo Travel GuideNingbo's private bibliotheca. It is now one of the major historical relics under the protection of the state. And also t is famous for the extraordinary design of the pavilion and the elegant structure of the garden. It is open to the public too so that experts and scholars can finally have access to their most coveted archives right in the library, rare documents buried under centuries of dust. This can be called "the modern use of the old times". In 1982, the State Council made Tianyi Pavilion one of the country's key cultural heritages, thus turning the library into an indispensable landmark in this city famous for its remarkable historical culture, a star of civilization in which Ningbo people take great pride.

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