Western-style Gate

As the Garden’s principal gate, the Western-style Gate, named “Jing Han Tai Gu” (meaning the serene garden brings one a sense of ancient times), is situated on the southernmost side of the Garden’s middle section. It was built under orders from Prince Kung. Made of white marble, the magnificent western arch-shaped gate resembles the design of the gate of the Western-style Fountains in the Old Summer Palace. The stone inscriptions, “Jing Han Tai Gu” and “Xiu Yi Heng Chun” (meaning the beautiful landscape makes one feel as if he were in the pleasant season of spring) on both sides of the gate reflect the psychological states the owner wanted to get into—serenity and elegancy. By combining the concept “Jing” (serene) and “Gu” (ancient), the Gate is integrated with the natural scenes inside the Garden, making it full of the sense of history and time and space. As the only western construction in the Garden and one of the three western-style gates in Beijing, the Gate represents that Prince Kung wanted to save the Qing dynasty through learning the culture and technologies of the West. Together with the Grand Theatre Tower and the Back Screen Buildings, it constitutes the three uniqueness of the Mansion.

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