Prince Gong’s Mansion is one of the most ornate and extravagant royal residences in Beijing. My friend and I visited it last Sunday.
The mansion is located north of Shichahai Lake in the western part of central Beijing. It was built in 1777 by imperial minister He Shen during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty.
The buildings include several classic siheyuan courtyards. The garden has an artificial hill and rocks from Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province.
The mansion features an eight-meter-long stele containing the Chinese character “fu”, which implies “fortune”. It is based on the calligraphy of Emperor Kangxi. The character has five meanings: more sons, more talent, more money, a longer life, and more good luck. Tourists swarm to the stele to stand before it and pray for what they want.
If you have already been to the Imperial Palace or the Summer Palace, you might as well come to Prince Gong’s Mansion for a visit.