Wang Compound

Wang Compound of Pingyao, Pingyao Attractions, Pingyao Travel GuideThe Wang family compound is located 37 miles from Pingyao in Lingshi County, Shanxi province. This historical and cultural relic was built by Wang Lingshi, the head of one of the four leading families of the period (1644-1911). Wang, a jin merchant, first began his business during the Ming Dynasty and the family had reached its heyday by the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Wang became very powerful, in politics and business and owned much land. The family gradually declined in the late Qing Dynasty.

The house consists of the grand courtyard, which is about 150,000 square meters, 54 courtyards and 1,052 rooms. It is the largest residence compound existing in China, and is a typical example of the wealthy jin merchant's home in northern China. Wang's compound is much larger than Qiao's compound, another large home in the same area. The construction lasted for more than half a century and witnessed the ups and downs of the Wang family. The parts of the compound opened to the public include three castles: Gaojia Ya, Red-Gate Castle and Chongning Bao.

The Gaojia Ya, in the east, is a series of houses, which was built in the shape of a phoenix, and is comprised of three parts: the central, and the northeast and the southwest courtyards. There are three Si He yards which constitute the main courtyards, and there are two gardens in the southeastern courtyard. Sculptures of brick, stone and wood are to be seen everywhere in these courtyards on walls, pillars, windows, and chimneys.

Red-Gate Castle is located in the west, connected to Gaojia Ya by a bridge. The castle has only one gate which, of course, is painted red. Red-Gate Castle is divided into several parts, with the whole structure being laid out in the form of the Chinese character "王 (Wang)" if seen from above.

Pingyao Wang Compound, Pingyao Attractions, Pingyao Travel Guide

Chongning Bao was designed and built to look like Red-Gate Castle. The castle includes the Li Qun Art Gallery, which displays the works of famous contemporary artists.

Wang's Compound has a distinct distinctive architectural style and contains valuable treasures. It is often listed as the scene for movies and television. It is regarded as China's civilian Forbidden City. As one walks around the courtyards one can see the marvelous workmanship of the ancient people and imagine the glory of the Wang family.