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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Architectures  »  
Quadrangle Courtyard

Quadrangle Courtyard building is a symbol of Chinese culture and ancient Chinese buildings. Four represents the east side, west side, south side and north side. "Integration" is combined together to form a mouth shape, which is the basic characteristic courtyard. Among all types of quadrangle courtyards, Beijing Quadrangle Courtyard is the most elegant one. Beijing courtyard, large and small, dotted, or in the bustling street, or in a quiet and deep alley. The large one covers an area of several acres, but the small one is several feet; or exclusive single-family, or a number of households. The quadrangle courtyards formed a humane psychological situation, maintained the traditional culture and keep external harmonious neighborhood relations thus creating an adjacent living environment. It formed a family-centered courtyard, neighbors of the trunk, and the community area for the plane social networking system.

The layout of the building courtyard, is the north-south vertical axis symmetrically arranged and closed independent courtyard as the basic characteristics. According to its scale, the simplest one is the one front door courtyard. There are also courtyards with two, three or more front doors. The doors are lined in vertical axis.

Architectural Scale
Although courtyards have some regulation, there are varying sizes. It can be divided into three types: large quadrangle courtyard, middle quadrangle courtyard and small quadrangle courtyard.

Small courtyard generally has three north rooms which are a bright one and two dark one or a dark one and two bright one. There are two rooms on the east and west respectively and three south rooms. The small courtyard can occupy a three generations. Grandparents live in the principal house while juniors live in wing-rooms and the south room used as a study or living room. In the courtyard, there was paved path leading to every room. There are steps in front of each door.

The middle quadrangle courtyard is more spacious than the small courtyard. Usually, the middle quadrangle courtyard has five north room, three principal rooms and two side rooms, three wing-rooms on the east and west respectively. There is a gallery in front of the house to take shelter from rain. The courtyard is divide into the foreyard and backyard by the wall and the yards are connected by moon gate. The foreyard is not very deep with only several rooms while the backyard has more rooms. The backyard is used as the living place.

The large quadrangle courtyard is generally a multiple courtyard with many rooms. It is composed of several independent courtyards which are connected by walls in vertical axis. The large courtyards contains foreyard, backyard, east yard, west yard, principal yard, side yard, study yard and so on. There re porches connecting each yard inside the large quadrangle courtyard.

Architectural Indoor
House warming generally used stoves. According to its material, the stove can be divided into mud stove, iron stove and copper stove. Mud stove is made of Guokui Wood produced in Beijing. Mud stove has good thermal transmission ability and it is also easy to move. As a result, rich families always have several mud stoves. As for common people, they may cook on the fire before a Kang. The stove can seal up the fire so that the stove may not extinguish all year round. If the stove was extinguished, then use firewood and charcoal to light it. Housewives would get up early to bring the stove out of the room in case of carbon monoxide poisoning which had become a scenery in Beijing.

There are many different kinds of trees plant in Beijing courtyards. The flowers Beijing people prefer to plant are lilac, crabapple, flowering plum and peach blossoms while the trees are jujube tree and pagoda tree. Flowers and trees inside a courtyard make it elegant and pleasant.

The most common potted flowers are the pomegranate tree, oleander, golden laurel, silver laurel, azalea, gardenia, etc. To plant pomegranate seed has the meaning of "many children". As for the flower garden in the front rank grass, there are jasmine, impatiens, petunia, lupine flowers. It is the beauty of a homely courtyard.

In addition, there are the folk custom of feeding fish. Many of them use a fish tank with a diameter of 60-70 cm to both feed aquarium fish and planted with colorful flowers. In winter, fish tanks can also be used to store food.

A courtyard usually has only one family to live in. However, there are also occasions when several families live in a courtyard. These people are always poor people. But the pleasant and warm memory of living in the same courtyard when they all treated each other like their families cannot be forgotten by Beijing citizens.

Add on: Classical Garden
               The Imperial Palace
               Memorial Archway



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