Wang Family Compound in Shanxi is actually a cluster of courtyards and castles. The huge Wang family compound used to have five castles, five lanes and five ancestral temples with an area of 250,000 square meters, much larger than the 150,000 square-meter Forbidden City in Beijing and Qiao Family Coutyard.
ABC of Wang Family Compound
With a history of over 680 years, the Wangs have lived on for 27 generations throughout all the ups and downs. The Wang family had their heyday in the period of Qing Dynasty from 1661 to 1820.
In the eighteenth century (in the reign of Daoguang), Wang’s family gradually declined. In 1996 the last generation of the Wangs moved out of their age-old residence and the Grand Compound was opened to the public in 1997.
The compound style began in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100BC-771BC), with the halls in the front, the gardens and bedrooms at the back. The Gao Jia Ya and Red-Gate Castle have numerous courtyards and rooms built in the light of the Chinese traditional courtyard architecture.
Beside its exquisite courtyard architecture, Wang family grand compound boasts delicate and ornate brick, wood and stone carvings.
Carving works can be seen almost anywhere in the compound of the Wangs and each piece of the work is fine and ingenious. As an important part of the courtyard’s architecture art, the carvings demonstrate the artistic level of the time.
How to get to Wang Family Compound
Open hours: 08:00 – 19:30 ( summer ); 08:00- 18:00 Open all year
Entrance Fee: RMB 55
Address: Wang Family Compound, Jingsheng Village, Jingsheng Township, Lingshi County, Shanxi.
Wang Family Compound is located about 50 km to the southwest of Pingyao Ancient City. Basically people would put Wang Family Compound and Zhangbi Ancient Castle on a day trip.
Two direct buses go from Pingyao Bus Station starting 8:50am and 1.10pm for Wang Family Courtyard and returning at 12:40pm and 4:00pm from Wang Family Courtyard.
Or you may first go to Jiexiu by bus from Pingyao, then connect the local buses from Jiexiu to Wang Family Compound. A taxi rental costs about RMB 300 from and to Pingyao.
This largest-existing folk residence cluster sits on the slopes of the hills. Layers of gardens and courtyard houses on different heights of the hills give the compound more levels and the hill more lively and glamour.
Virtual Tour of Wang Family Courtyard
Well, please follow me to have a glimpse of the huge compound. For the normal travel rout, people would first visit the east compound of Gao Jia Ya, then move along the bridge to the west castle of Red Gate Castle, finally to the Ancestral Temple of Wang’s Clan.
This is the east gate to the Gao Jia Ya Castle. Two large red lanterns hung over from the gate tower and two smaller ones from the upturned eaves.
Rows of courtyard houses are laid out symmetrically. The courtyards were built under the principle conforming to social institutions and practicality.
A typical Chinese courtyard building with fine and exquisite wood and stone carvings.
A exquisite frame window, a horizontal wood inscribed board with a Chinese character “Double Happiness )
Stone piers at the door.
The courtyard style began in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100BC-771BC), with the halls in the front, the gardens and bedrooms at the back.
A bridge connects Gaojia and Red Gate Castle
The Red Gate Castle is circled by a high city wall, comparable to the Great Wall in height and width.
This is a labyrinth-like castle with numerous courtyard houses and lanes.
Rows of courtyard houses cascade from the hills.
A screen wall stone carvings
A wooden bracket supports the roof without nails.
The two flying eaves are in the form of dragon-heads.
A stone frame window
Walking on the city wall to have a bird-eye view of the courtyard houses.
Tip: Hassle-free Pingyao & Shanxi Guided Tours
If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for organized tours to Pingyao and Shanxi Province:
Visit Qiao Family Courtyard
How to Visit Zhenguo Temple
How to Visit Shuanglin Temple
How to Visit Wang Family Compound
How to Visit Zhangbi Ancient Castle
How to Visit Lijiashan Village (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Qikou Ancient Town (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Best Place to See Sunrise in Pingyao Ancient City
Any questions, just drop a line.