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Heritage Trail project

Yu’er Hutong 雨儿胡同

Suzhou-style paintings and couplets 对联 adorn the gate of 10 Yu'er Hutong

Suzhou-style paintings and couplets 对联 adorn the gate of 10 Yu'er Hutong


Stretching from east to west, Yu’er Hutong is about 343 meters long and 5 meters wide. It starts from Nanluoguxiang in the east, and ends at Dongbuyaqiao Hutong in the west. Suoyi Hutong is to the south and Yu’er is linked with Mao’er Hutong in the north. Addresses number 1 to No.45 and No.2 to No.34 on either side of the road. It was originally called “Yulong Hutong” in the Ming Dynasty, while part of the administrative district of the Zhaohui Jingzhong Fang. The present name “Yu’er Hutong” has been used since the Qing Dynasty, when it was under the administration of the Bordered Yellow Banner. This name was adopted by the government of the Republic of China. After the founding of the PRC, the name was changed several times, until 1979 when “Yu’er Hutong” was adopted once again.  Currently, the Jiaodaokou District Office of Dongcheng District and other such offices are located in this hutong.

According to the historical documents of Xiaoting Xu Lu, the house of Gongyebushu was located in Yu’er Hutong. (Fuguo Yebushu was the fourth prince of the Qingtaizong Emperor. He was given the title of Fuguogong in the eighth year of the Kangxi Emperor.)

The Former Residence of Qi Baishi: (No.13,Yu’er Hutong)

No.13 of Yu’er Hutong, together with No.11 and No.15, used to be the house of Dong Shuping, the president of Beihai Park, during the time of the Republic of China. His residence was called “The Dong Family Courtyard”. Later on, the land of the house was divided into several plots. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China the Ministry of Art and Culture bought the land containing No.13, and gave it to Qi Baishi (see below). However, Qi Baishi missed his old home in Xicheng District, and he soon moved back to Xicheng after living in Yu’er Hutong for a short period of time. No.13 was then made into a museum celebrating Qi Baishi. Eventually it was acquired by the Beijing Fine Art Academy. Now it houses the Editorial Department of Chinese Painting, a publication of the Beijing Fine Art Academy, and the official meeting place of the Chinese Artist Association. The residence is a registered cultural heritage site in Dongcheng District.

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Fuxiang Hutong 福祥胡同


Fuxiang Hutong starts at Nanluoguxiang in the east and ends at Dongyabudao Hutong in the west, with Suoyi Hutong in the north and Di’anmen East Avenue in the south. It is 255 metres in length with an average width of 5 metres.  Odd address numbers range from 1 to 29—though there is no 21. Even address numbers range from 2 to 10, with the number  6 and 8 likewise absent. It was formerly a part of Zhaohuijinggong district (Fang). In the Ming dynasty it was called Fuxiangsi Street, after the famous Fuxiang temple located in the Hutong. In Qing dynasty, it fell under the jurisdiction of the Bordered Yellow Banner and was called Houfuxiangsi Hutong. During the Xuantong period, it was changed to “Fuxiangsi” and the name remained during the Republican period. However the area underwent several names changes in the years following the founding of the PRC. After 1979 it reverted back to Fuxiangsi Hutong.

According to historical records Shuntian Fu (zhi), Fuxiangsi was a part of the Jinggong District (Jinggong Fang), and a commemorative stele indicates that it was founded by an imperial order.  According to the Shuntian Fu records in years of Emperor Guangxu, Fuxiang temple was built by an imperial order in the 11th year of the reign of Emperor Hongzhi (1498) in the Ming dynasty.  It was restored in the third year of Zhengde (1508) and the 41st year of Wanli (1613). There were three steles dating from Ming dynasty: one was written by Liyu in the 11th year of Hongzhi, the second one was written by a consultative official (shijiang) Shenshou in Wuchen Year of Emperor Zhengde, the third one was written by the grand secretary (daxueshi) Zhao Zhigao in The Guichou Year of Emperor Wanli

Former Shanmen Gate of Fuxiang Temple, Now a Residential Courtyard

Fuxiang Temple

Fuxiang temple is located in No. 25 Fuxiang Hutong. According to Shuntian Fu Records of the Guangxu Period, “Research on Beijing” (Yan du cong kao) A stele was dedicated in Fuxiang temple by an imperial order in the 11th year of Huzhi (1498), and “Preface on the Abbots of Fuxiang Temple (Mingseng lu si zuo jue yi shou yu gong zhu chi Fuxiangsi xu) ” in the 21st year of Wanli (1592), Fuxiang temple was established in the first year of the reign of Emperor Zhengtong (1436) in the Ming dynasty. This place originally belonged to a eunuch named Wu, and he rebuilt it into a temple and presented it to Emperor Yingzong for his birthday. It was named “Fuxiang temple” by the emperor. In the ninth year of Hongzhi (1496), Marschall (Yuma jian) eunuch Zhudang donated money and restored the temple, and the temple was subsequently restored in the third year of Zhengde (1508) and Wanli (1613) in Ming dynasty. In the second year of Yongzheng (1724), after the emperor had suppressed a rebellion in Qinhai, an envoy of Xihutuketu came to Beijing and purchased this temple as a travel lodge. It was then turned into a lamasery and called Hongren Temple.

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Suoyi Hutong 蓑衣胡同

Suoyi Hutong runs from east to west. It begins at Nanluoguxiang in the east and connects with Fuxiang Hutong to the south at its west end. Yu’er Hutong is located to the north. It is 295 meters in length and 3 meters in width. Odd address numbers range from 3 to 33, and even address numbers range from 2 to 14. It was formerly part of the Zhaohuijinggong District (Fang) in the Ming dynasty and was called Shayisi Hutong, named after the famous Shayi temple (shayi si). In the reign of Xuantong in the Qing dynasty, the area was called Suoyi Hutong, and the name remained during the Republican period. It underwent several names changes, ultimately reverting back to “Suoyi Hutong” in 1979.

According to historical records in “A Collection of Districts, Alleys, and Hutong in five squares” (Wu cheng fang xiang hutong ji), the Zhaohui District (Fang) and Jinggong District (Fang) were located to the east of Beianmen. There were 40 shops and several temples including Yuan’en temple, Fuxiang temple, and Shayi temple.

According to the “Records of districts and alleys in Beijing” (Jing shi fang xiang zhi gao), a “Shayi temple” was established in the area but the name “Shayi” was mistakenly pronounced as “Suoyi” by people in old times, and so the hutong was called “Suoyi” after the temple.

Suoyi Hutong at its narrowest section

Suoyi Hutong at its narrowest section

The Residence of Puren (No.2 Suoyi Hutong)

This residence belongs to the family of Puren’s second wife, Zhang Maoying. She was the daughter of the celebrated collector of cultural relics, Zhang Shucheng. The house is comprised of a front courtyard and a back courtyard. The front yard is mainly used for storage while the principal room in the back yard is Puren’s residence.

Aisin Gioro Puren (1918- ), also known as Jin Youzhi, is the younger brother of the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, Aisin Gioro Puyi. He was born in the Prince Chun Palace (now known as Soong Ching-ling’s residence) in Shichahai, Beijing. Puren lived with Prince Chun (Zai Feng) and began his education in Chinese classics, literature and painting when he was very young. He established the public Beijing Jingye Primary School in the Prince Chun Palace in 1947, with his father’s support.  He, his father and his sister served as the headmaster, Chief executive, and the teacher respectively. After the liberation of China in 1949, he donated the school to the government and remained there as a teacher until 1988 when he retired. He dedicated half of his life to Chinese education and after that he devoted himself to studying the Qing dynasty. He has published “The Life, Study and Martial Arts Practicing of Princes in the Late Qing Dynasty”, Nananxingde, with his poems collection Tongzhitang Ji, “Culinary Traditions and Medical Treatment in Princely Palaces of the Late Qing Dynasty,” and “Memoirs of Prince Chun Palace” etc. He also edited his father’s works such as “The Diaries of Shide”. Mr. Puren was elected successively to be a deputy to the National People’s Congress of Xicheng district, a member to the Political Consultative Conference of the district, and a member of the Beijing 7th, 8th, and 9th Political Consultative Conference. In 1994, he was appointed by the Beijing Municipal government as a member of the Central Research Institute of Culture and History.


Zhong Jianwei, Dongcheng Diming zhi (Dongcheng Gazetteer of Place Names)

Li Tiesheng, Zhang Endong, Nanluoguxiang Shihua (Histories of Nanluoguxiang)

Back to Nanluoguxiang

Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong 后圆恩寺胡同


Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong runs east and west, connecting South Jiaodaokou with Nanluo Guxiang. To its south lay Qian Yuan’ensi Hutong, and to its north lay Ju’er Hutong. It is 444 meters in length and 6 meters in width. The street numbers on the north side range from 1 to 21 with an absence of numbers 9 and 11, and range from 2 to 28 on the south side with an absence of 14 and 24. During the Qing Dynasty, Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong fell under the jurisdiction of the Bordered Yellow Banner. It was named Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong during the Qianlong Era, as it was located behind (hou) the Yuan’en Temple (Yuan’en Si). It kept this name during the Republican Era, before undergoing a series of name changes in the following years. These changes would continue until 1979, when it reverted back to Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong. The En Garden (En Yuan) at 7 Hou Yuan’ensi Hutong once served as Chiang Kai-Shek’s headquarters during the Republican Era, as well as the embassy of Yugoslavia after 1949. 13 Hou Yuan’ensi was the former residence of Mao Dun, which became a city level heritage protection site in 1984. Today one can find the Beijing Children’s Art Theatre, Heizhima Hutong Elementary School (East campus), and the China Youth Development Foundation.

Former Residence of Mao Dun (13 Hou Yuan En Si Hutong)

Mao Dun (1896-1981) was the pen name used by Shen Dehong (courtesy name Yanbing), one of 20th century China’s most prominent modernist writers. He was also a noted literary critic, political activist, and social activist. Mao Dun helped pioneer the May Fourth Movement of 1919, and in so doing played a major role in the development of Chinese revolutionary art and literature. Today he is seen as one of the literary giants of his age, enjoying a reputation rivaling those of contemporaries Lu Xun and Guo Moruo.

The quadrangle used to belong to Yang Mingxuan, one of the respected leaders of the Democratic Party and the China Democratic League. It was abandoned after Yang passed away, and became a storage place for the Government Offices Administration of the State Council. Mao Dun moved into this quadrangle in December, 1974 and lived there until March, 1981 when he passed away

The quadrangle has two units with a total area of 878 square meters. There is a pair of rectangular stone blocks in from the gate, whose sides are carved with various flowers. A black marble flat with Deng Yingchao’s golden inscription of ‘the Former Residence of Mao Dun’ was embedded on the screen wall just inside the entrance. And in front it locates a white marble bust of Mao Dun with a height of 83 centimeters, sitting on a black marble pedestal. The front courtyard has three main rooms, three side rooms on the east and the west and six reversely-set rooms. There are also two large Yuanbao Maples and a grape-vine covered trellis inside the courtyard, underneath which are two Chinese rose gardens. The west side rooms were used to store Mao Dun’s book collections – thousands of books were neatly arranged on five bookshelves. Some of the translation works from the 20s and the 30s are now the only editions left.  On the left side of the library building is a small meeting room for guests.  On the floor is a large sofa, four smaller sofas, a long tea table and two smaller tea tables

Former Residence of Chiang Kai-Shek (7 Hou Yuan En Si Hutong)

During the Qing Dynasty, this courtyard belonged to Zaibu, second son of Prince Yi Kuang and the great-great-grandson of the Qianlong Emperor. Throughout his life he received numerous titles and promotions, becoming both general and prince over the years stretching from 1850 to 1906. It has been said that Zaibu was the most playful and easygoing of his brothers. As a young man he married a woman named Hong Baobao. In order to win her heart he built this mansion according to her tastes, fusing eastern and western influences. In later years, after losing all of his money to gambling, he had no choice but to mortgage off the mansion to settle his debts. The mansion would then change hands yet again, becoming the office headquarters of a prewar Sino-French joint enterprise.

Following his victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan, Chiang Kai-Shek took a liking to the courtyard and purchased it for himself. Renovating it extensively, he turned into his family mansion. His relatives continued living there even though the capital had since moved to Nanjing, and Chiang himself lived there when visiting Beijing on official business. During the Liaoshen Campaign of the Chinese Civil War, Chiang used the mansion to hold meetings with his top generals.


Beijing Dongcheng Gazetteer of Place Names,  Beijing Shi Dongcheng Qu Diming Zhi

Beijing City Dongcheng District Government Records Beijing Shi Dongcheng Qu Minzheng Fupian

Dongcheng District Ministry of Cultural Heritage Records Dongcheng Qu Wenwu Ju Pian

Houyuan’ensi Hutong: The History that has Happened Here  Houyuan’ensi Hutong: lishi de yunpu zai zheli jingguo

Bust of Mao Dun at the famous author's old residence

Bust of Mao Dun at the famous author's old residence

The Author Mao Dun

The Author Mao Dun

Hutong Photography Training!


Last Saturday October 15, over 20 volunteers gathered at Fangjia Hutong to learn how to photograph hutongs to create elevation panoramas, or limian tu, of each hutong in Nanluoguxiang, as part of our Heritage Trail project. Afterwards, volunteers paired up to go into the hutongs and begin photographing. Participants included architecture and history university students as well as old-time Beijing residents and other members of our growing hutong community! It was a great time for volunteers to meet each other and there were many new faces as well as familiar ones. Stay tuned for more progress on our heritage trail project as we work toward documenting the history and condition of each hutong in Nanluoguxiang. Check out our Heritage Trail Project and contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities!

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