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Heritage Trail project

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

Heritage Trail: Shoubi Hutong 寿比胡同

Shoubi Hutong

An introduction

Shoubi Hutong sits at the northwest of Nanluoguxiang, running predominantly east to west. It begins on the east at South Jiaodaokou, curving west and north to its end at North Gulou Street.  It also connects with Ju’er Hutong via a path at its south. The entire hutong extends 360 meters long and 2 meters wide. Courtyards on the north number from 1 to 35 with an absence of number 29 and courtyards on the south number from 2 to 6.

During the Ming Dynasty, the hutong belonged to the Zhaohui Jingong administrative area (fang). At that time, the western end was called Choupi Hutong (meaning “smelly leather”), so named after a tannery that once stood there. As for the eastern end, it was called Suning Mansion (Suning Fu). It served as the residence of Wei Liangqing, count of Suning County (modern day Hebei Province) and nephew of Ming Dynasty eunuch Wei Zhongxian.

Shoubi Hutong

After the establishment of the Qing Dynasty, the area fell under the jurisdiction of the Bordered Yellow Banner. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the alley’s eastern end changed its name to Suining Mansion, although the name returned to Suning Mansion during the reign of the Xuantong Emperor.

By 1947, the western end had officially become Shoubi Hutong, and in 1965 – following a name-tidying campaign – both the west and east ends were combined under the name Jiaodaokou Nantoutiao. Several other name changes followed until 1979, when the entire alley was collectively termed Shoubi Hutong.

Shoubi Hutong

According to literary records (Tianzhiouwen/An Historical Record of Beijing)  Jiaodaokou West was the home of the Suning Mansion, and Count Wei Liangqing of the Ming dynasty made the mansion his residence.  Until the present, the large stone lions in front of the house still remain, and one cannot doubt they will remain for a long time hereafter.

Li Dingyi in the Interesting History of the Republican Era also noted of the courtyard, “after criminals were tied and executed by mob squads outside Deshengmen, the bodies were taken to this courtyard in the Suning Mansion hutong near Andingmen”.

According to the records of the Beijing Temple Historical Material, Dabei Temple (Niseng Temple) was located somewhere near Shoubi Hutong number 19, and was founded in the Ming Dynasty.

According to The Qianlong-Era Map of Beijing (Qing Dynasty), Shoubi Hutong was also home to two nunneries: “Ersheng” Nunnery and “Jinqi Nunnery”.

Works cited:

Tianzhiouwen/An Historical Record of Beijing

Li Dingyi, Interesting History of the Republican Era

Beijing Temple Historical Material

Qianlong-Era Map

Heritage Trail: Ju’er Hutong 菊儿胡同

Ju'er 3

An introduction:

Ju’er Hutong runs east to west, connecting South Jiaodaokou and Nanluo Guxiang. To its south lies Hou Yuan Ensi Hutong, and to its north lies Shoubi Hutong. It is 438 meters long and 6 meters wide. Street numbers on the north range from 1 to 107, with most quadrangles having already been remodeled into courtyard-style low-rise housing. On the south, numbers range from 2 to 22 with an absence of number 6. The hutong formerly belonged to the Zhaohui Jingong administrative area (fang), and was named Ju’er Hutong (with the character ‘局’) during the Ming Dynasty. It was under the jurisdiction of the Bordered Yellow Banner during the Qing Dynasty, and was renamed Ju’er Hutong (with the character ‘桔’) during the Qianlong Era and later named Ju’er Hutong (with the character ‘菊’) during the Xuantong Era. This name lasted up until the Republican Era. Following Liberation, it would again undergo several name changes until 1979, when the alley – together with the so-called “Xiao Ju’er Hutong” – was again designated as Ju’er Hutong (with the character ‘菊’). Numbers 3, 5 and 7 quadrangles were the former mansion of Rong Lu, Qing Grand Secretary and Viceroy of former Zhili Province (a municipality encompassing modern day Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, western Liaoning, northern Henan, and Inner Mongolia). The quadrangle at number 3 contained both residences and a shrine, number 5 functioned as the garden, and number 7 held western style buildings. After 1949, the quadrangle at number 7 became the embassy of Afghanistan. Today, it hosts the Beijing Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Remodeled low-rise courtyards:

The new low-rise courtyards in Ju’er Hutong – known as the Ju’er Courtyard Housing Project – were built as part of the Beijing Old Building-Remodeling Project, begun in 1988. The project was co-designed by the Department of Architecture and the Architecture Design and Research Group of Tsinghua University, and carried out under the leadership of Mr Wu Liangyong, prestigious architect and urban planner, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and chairman of both the Urban Planning Society of China and the Institute of Architectural and Urban Studies.

To begin the project, Mr Wu divided Ju’er Hutong’s buildings into three categories based on their existing conditions. Buildings constructed after the 1970s were still in good condition and therefore remained intact. Some buildings needed to be renovated, and decrepit quadrangles had to be remodeled. The design of the new residential buildings was based on the layout of the old Beijing siheyuan quadrangles, yet also inspired by the design of many traditional residences in Suzhou, Fujian and Guangdong, which are composed of a set of enclosed courtyards. The new architectural design not only inherited the features of old Beijing siheyuan, but also worked to meet the requirements of modern times, particularly in terms of heating, plumbing, and other amenities. Similarly, the complex, while ensuring privacy, also connected residential courtyards via corridors, thereby emphasizing and enabling communication between neighbors. The typical hutong aesthetic was further maintained by keeping long-standing trees at the center of each courtyard and using traditional grey bricks. Overall, the complex has been able to create a cheerful aura and intimate atmosphere, blending seamlessly with the surrounding Nanluo Guxiang cultural heritage protection zone.

The construction process was divided up into two phases. The first phase began in October 1989 and officially ended in August 1990. It required the destruction of seven residences and 64 dangerous and dilapidated homes, and resulted in the construction of 46 new homes that increased the average per capita living space from 5.3 m2 to 12.4 m2. The second phase began in March 1991 and ended around December 1992. This phase required the destruction of 32 residences and 344 dangerous and dilapidated homes, and resulted in the construction of 160 new homes that increased average per capita living space from 7.3 m2 to 33 m2.

From May 30 to June 4, 1994, the British Building and Social Housing Foundation held a conference in Beijing recognizing Wu Liangyong and his Ju’er Hutong Courtyard Housing Project and awarded the project its renowned World Habitat Award. Thirty-four internationally-renowned architects from 20 different countries all professed their agreement, stating that the project “reflects Chinese values, creatively maintains urban Chinese culture, possesses a high degree of social and economic utility, and represents the future of urban architectural development”.


The Former Residence of Rong Lu

Numbers 3, 5, and 6, Ju’er Hutong

History of the Courtyard:

The courtyard known today as Rong Lu’s former residence was first owned by Rong Lu’s father, a Qing Dynasty general named Guwalgiya Changshou. Rong Lu himself was born in this mansion in 1836, a member of both the Plain White Banner and Guwalgiya (Gua’erjia) clan. In the early years of the Guangxu Emperor’s reign (1875-1908), he first worked as Peking Land Troop Commander (jian bu jun tongling), later getting promoted to minister of the Board of War (gongbu shangshu). He was soon accused of bribery, however, and consequently sent to work as general in the western city of Xi’an. In 1895 he returned to Beijing to work as Defense Minister (bingbu shangshu).

Following the Chinese defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), the Qing government entered into a period of political reform. Rong Lu opposed these changes however, taking a hard-line stance in favor of the old ways. In so doing, he attracted the attention of the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi, who made him Viceroy of Zhili Province, minister of the Beiyang region (modern day Liaoning, Hebei, and Shandong), and commander of the Beiyang Army. Notably, during the Hundred Days Reform movement (June 11 to September 21, 1898), Qing General Yuan Shikai informed Rong Lu as to the plan for reforms, who in turn helped stop the movement. Rong Lu then aided Cixi in her coup d’état, helping her take power. As a reward he was further appointed Minister of the Grand Council. During the anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), Rong Lu – again following Cixi’s orders – deceived and crushed the Boxers, working instead to protect Beijing’s foreign legation. Nevertheless, upon the arrival of the Eight Nation Alliance Army, he fled to Xi’an. He returned to Beijing again in 1902, becoming both tutor to the crown prince and Grand Secretary.

Ju'er 2

Although Rong Lu is today seen in a negative light, more and more historians have come to view him in a more objective manner. They particularly laud his nine years of service in the so-called Divine Mechanism Regiment (shen ji ying) and his consequent expertise in western artillery. Likewise, many have noted that during his time as Viceroy, Rong Lu helped set-up numerous schools modeled on Imperial Capital University (modern day Peking University), and worked especially hard to develop the study of culture, education, and economics.

The Courtyard and its Architecture

In its heyday, Rong Lu’s mansion was extremely large. Sitting on Ju’er Hutong’s north side and facing south, it extended west to the center of the street and in the opposite direction to the street’s eastern entrance (today South Jiaodaokou). It also reached north into adjacent Shoubi Hutong. At that time, the entire mansion could be divided into three major parts: European-style buildings to the west, a garden at the center, and residences to the east. The residential quarters could be further split into five courtyards, comprised of reversely-set rooms (daozuofang) facing north, corridors (guoting), principal rooms (zhengfang), and two ancestral halls (jiaci).

Today, three of these reversely-set rooms remain, as does a three-room guoting corridor. There are also three principal rooms, each with two wing rooms. To the front of these one finds a platform with three sets of stairs. Further to the east and west one can still find side rooms and their adjacent corridors, as well. All of these buildings are topped with the traditional grey yingshan roof tiles, although the principal rooms are further adorned with hooped ridges. The corridors are also notable for their ornamental brackets (que ti). The windows and the interior of the principal rooms have been renovated in the Qing Dynasty style.

The fourth and fifth courtyards are said to have once been ancestral halls, their principal rooms each containing five rooms. Each was likewise topped with traditional grey tiles. Today these two ancestral halls have been cut off from the front courtyard, and now form part of the number 6 courtyard at Shoubi Hutong. The garden once found at number 5 has since been destroyed, and a number of dormitories have been built in its place. Based on evidence still available – gundun gate stones are still found even today – it is clear that it was once quite large. As for the foreign-style buildings in the western courtyard, they have likewise undergone modification, and today one finds a relatively large building to the south of the quadrangle. The older, two-story steeple is still present, however, and remains a fine example of late-Qing architecture.

In later years, when Rong Lu moved his family to Dongchang Hutong, he would end up selling the courtyard to a host of buyers. These individuals would in turn divide the mansion into a number of individual residences. At present, the area exists as one of Dongcheng District’s cultural heritage protection sites, having gained this status in 1986.

Works Cited:

Zhong Jianwei, Beijing shi dongcheng qu dimingzhi

Xin Jing Bao (The Beijing News), Ed., Beijing dili: Wang Xie men ting

Chen Die, “Ju’er Hutong: Yaoye zai chuantong yu xiandai zhijian – Wu Liangyong zhengzhi Beijing hutong de chenggong fanli,” Xin Cailiao Xin Zhuangshi, Feb. 2005

Wu Liangyong, Beijing jiu chengqu de zhengzhi tujing

Beijing Shi Dongchengqu Guihua Fenju, Ed., Beijing Shi Dongchengqu Guihuazhi

Back to Nanluo Guxiang area

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