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Western-style Gate

Updated: May 11, 2023

The Western-style Gate, the main gate of the garden of Prince Kung's Palace Museum, is located at the southern end of the garden's central road. Established by Yixin (1833-1898), the gate is carved and constructed using white marble, imitating the designs of Haiyuan Gate of the Grand Fountain (Da Shuifa) in the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan). It is magnificent and imposing, featuring a Western-style arch.


The Western-style Gate at Prince Kung's Palace Museum

Four Chinese characters "Jing Han Tai Gu" were inscribed on the plaque on its outer side, and "Xiu Yi Heng Chun" on the inner side, representing the two states of mind desired by the owner of the garden – serenity (jing) and elegance (xiu).

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Close-up of the Western-style Gate

Moreover, the inscriptions are used as a metaphor for the wonderland, which correspond to the landscape inside the gate. The garden designer integrates the concepts of serenity and antiquity, bringing a sense of history to the garden.

As the only Western-style structure in the garden, the Western-style Gate reflects the owner's intention to save the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) through embracing Western culture and technology. It is also one of three landmarks of Prince Kung's Palace Museum, with the other two being the Grand Theatre and the Rear Building.

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