Qiao Courtyard (Qiao Family Courtyard, Qiaojia Courtyard), China

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Qiao Courtyard

Qiao Courtyard (Qiao Family Courtyard, Qiaojia Courtyard) lies in the beautiful and richly-endowed Jinzhong basin, Shanxi province.

It is located exactly in Qiao Jia Bao village, 12 kilometers north-east of Qi county city, greatly admired as a very special artistic treasure by folkmore and architect, also one of the ten best tourism spots in Shanxi procince.

Qia Courtyard was built in the years of Ganlong in Qing Dynasty, occupied 8724.8 square meters of land,consisted of 6 large yards and 20 small yards (totally 313 houses). It was repaired and rebuilt many times during the years of Tongzhi, Guangxu in Qing Dynasty and the beginning years of the Republic of China.

It was a Chinese old residential courtyard which leaped over two centuries. Its overall arrangement was well-knit and its architecture was exquisite, regular as well as changeable. It was not only nice in its entirety but also special in every part. When you look down at the overal yard above ground, it just looks like "double happiness" in Chinese.

Entering into the gate of courtyard, firstly, you will see a straight stone pavement with 80 metres length which divide 6 courtyards into southern row and northern row. There exist slope protections bewteen the pavements and near walls. Qiaojia temple is at the end of western side which face exactly to the gate

There are 4 main buildings, 6 other attics such as gate pavilion, Geng pavilion, Tiao pavilion. The sidewalks on the roof of every yard link up each other in order to patrol. Looking from outside, it is serious and grand, yards are deep; looking inside, it is splendid, orderly, reflect residential style of big family in feudal society in north of China.

Its three sides face to street, all rounds are surrounded with sealed water-milled brick wall which is 10 meters high. Yard and yard, house and house link up each other. The sidewalk above row upon row of Xuanshan roof, Xieshan roof, Yingshan roof, Juanpeng roof and Horizon roof link up the battlements.

The yard contain yard, yard contain garden. The doors, windows, eaves, stone stairs, railings of Quadrangle, Chuanxin yard, Pianxin yard, Jiaodao yard, Tao yard were beautifully shaped. You can see brick carving everywhere in the yards.

Backbone carving, wall carving, Ping carving, Railing carving draw its material from figure, allusion, flowers and plants, birds, beast, chess, Qin, painting and calligraphy. Its design is so exquisite, workmanship is so fine, show fully the special style of residential building in Qing Dynasty , admired as one bright pearl of residential building in north of China.

In the year of 1986, Qi county government rebuilt it as Qi county folk museum including art, science, interest, etc. It contains 42 exhibition rooms which regard years, time, season, food, clothing, shelter and transportation, wedding and funeral ceremony, agriculture trade activities as tis subject, 2000 pieces of exhibits, reflect folktale custom in area of Shanxi Jinzhong.

More than 50 films, TV plays selected spot and took pictures here. The film "Bright red lantern hang highly" which was directed by Mr Zhang Yimou was filmed here. Ms Gong Li acted as a leading role in the film.

People who visited the yard have same feeling that "imperial family own the Imperial Palace, ordinary people only own Qiaojia (Qiao Family)."