The History of Prince Kung’s Mansion

Location: The main hall of Baoguang Chamber

Type: permanent exhibition

Dates: since January 28, 2014

The exhibition themed “the History of Prince Kung’s Mansion” aims to clearly display the various stages and important figures in the mansion’s two hundred years of history from its establishment by Heshen to the founding of New China, highlighting the lives and historical backgrounds of the two most important owners of the mansion—Heshen and Yixin. By letting the audience get to know these, we hope they will fully understand the important historical and cultural position of Prince Kung’s Mansion as well as its value.

In designing the exhibition, we make full use of the outcomes of our own researches on the mansion’s history in recent years and the valuable historical materials we collected. Unlike the usual practice of historical exhibitions that arrange the content in chronological order, we extract the key points and highlights in the history of the mansion, that is, the two important figures Heshen and Yixin, and the two distinctive stages in the vicissitudes of the mansion—as a royal residence and as a cultural space.

The exhibition is held in Baoguang Chamber in the western section of the mansion. The lives of Heshen and Yixin against their historical backgrounds are displayed in the main hall. Apart from getting to know the two most important owners of the mansion, the audience can also understand the ins and outs of Prince Kung’s Mansion and clearly see half of the Qing Dynasty’s history. Two culture-themed exhibitions are presented in the east and west side halls as an extension of the exhibition in the main hall. The culture heritages accumulated in the history of the mansion are displayed. The audience can learn about history by getting to know the lives of historical figures, and then go further to relish culture.

In the exhibition, we also make sure the cultural relics inside the show rooms, i.e. the colored paintings on the ridge purlins and the “gold bricks” (bricks that produce a metallic sound when knocked) on the floor, are protected. On the ridge purlins of Baoguang Chamber, there are Suzhou-style colored paintings with cloth wrapper design and Song-dynasty brocade patterns, which have been well preserved since the Mid-Qing dynasty and are very rare to see. For the purpose of protection and due to the limited conditions, these paintings have never been fully displayed before. But now, the audience can finally enjoy these precious and quaint colored paintings as well as the ancient gold bricks by the cold light.

Address: No.17, West Qianhai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Tel: (86) 010-83288149  Post Code: 100009

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Technical Support: Information Center of the Ministry of Culture of China