|Prince Gong's Mansion |
Prince Gong's Mansion traditionally is a quite famous and cryptic area, and in history, it was widely noted for oppressing ghost. Ordinarily, it just was a Grand Lama temple. Dozens of years ago, it was not opened to the public as a park. It is the temple for Buddhist believers. Prince Gong's Mansion is located in the northeast corner of Beijing. Before 1723, it was the residence of Prince Gong, the fourth son of Kang Xi Emperor. After Kangxi passed away, Prince Gong became the emperor and moved into Forbidden City, and this mansion became the former residence, and was changed to be the temple, and other people were prohibited to live in. Besides, Emperor Qianlong was also born in this mansion.
Prince Gong's Mansion in history is connected with some famous historical figures of Qing Dynasty. Prince Gong's Mansion also used to be He Shen's Mansion gifted by Emperor Qianlong. He Shen was a handsome and versatile person. He was proficient in four languages -- Manchurian, Chinese, Tibetan and Uygur -- and was gifted in writing prose and poetry. It was on his recommendation to Emperor Qianlong that A Dream of Red Mansions was published. In the early years of his officialdom, he was diligent and upright and won the love of the people. Many factors caused He's corruption, one in particular being the flaws within the feudal system. He Shen had too much power, and there was no effective supervisory system to check his insatiable greed. He knew how to please the emperor and consequently won his favor and protection. All other officials, both at the central and local governments, were in awe of his power. He Shen was one of Chinese most famous corrupted officials and one of the masters of Prince Gong Mansion. He died of corruption and also was famous for corruption, which surely give many stories to Prince Gong's Mansion.
Prince Gong Mansion was also the former property of Prince Yixin, who was crowned to be Prince Gong of late Qing Dynasty after He Shen died. It is also one of the reasons why it was named Prince Gong Mansion. Prince Gong was an influential reformist after China was invaded by western powers. He was the real operator of Yang Wu Movement in order to realize the re-independence of China. And he was dissatisfied with Empress Dowager Ci Xi all the life. He positively learnt from west and established Chinese modernized navy and national defence.
Prince Gong Mansion is not only an architectural complex, but the more it has is apt to the witness of history and those influential historical figures as well as those unknown stories happening in this ancient residence or connecting closely with this mansion.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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