Shi Family Grand Courtyard – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

shi family grand courtyard

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard (石家大院) stands as a testament to the architectural splendor of late Qing Dynasty residences in Tianjin, China. Originally named “Zun Mei Tang,” the grand estate belonged to Shi Yuanshi (石元士), one of the prominent figures among the Eight Great Families of Tianjin during the late 19th century. Commonly referred to as the “Shi Family Grand Courtyard,” this historic complex was established in 1875 and boasts a remarkable history spanning over 140 years.

Encompassing an expansive area of more than 6,000 square meters, with a built-up area exceeding 2,900 square meters, the Shi Family Grand Courtyard is oriented north to south. Stretching 96 meters from north to south and 62 meters from east to west, the estate comprises a total of 18 courtyards, each contributing to the grandeur and scale of the complex.

The meticulous craftsmanship and exquisite choice of materials used in the construction of the Shi Family Grand Courtyard are noteworthy. Fine brick, wood, and stone carvings, distinctive in their elegance, characterize the architecture. The bricks and tiles, sourced mainly from Suzhou and Linqing, showcase a commitment to quality. Meanwhile, the hardwood materials, including nanmu, camphor, Catalpa, and cypress, originate from Yunnan and Guizhou. The construction techniques involve precision, with blue-stone platforms and meticulously crafted brickwork. The estate’s drainage and heating facilities were considered top-notch in its era, setting a benchmark for residential construction.

Notable are the ingeniously designed gatehouses throughout the courtyard, each bearing a unique and charming name. Even the discreet and hidden small doors are adorned with tasteful and interesting appellations. The ornate brick, wood, and stone carvings adorning the entire structure not only exhibit exquisite craftsmanship but also convey rich and clever symbolism.

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard stands as a living testament to the architectural and cultural legacy of the Qing Dynasty, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its history, beauty, and intricate detailing.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourAbout 2 hours
Ticket Price25 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 18.00; Last admission: 17.00 (1st April – 31st October)
8.30 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.00 (1st November – 31st March the next year)
Telephone Number0086-022-27391617

Location and Transportation

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard is situated in Yangliuqing (杨柳青) in the western suburb of Tianjin, close to a vast park. Its exact address is No. 47, Guyi Street, Yangliuqing Town, Xiqing District, Tianjin, China. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 175, 757, or 824, get off at Yangliuqing Ancient Town Shi Family Grand Courtyard Stop (杨柳青古镇石家大院站), and walk about 300 meters to the north to reach the attraction.

Metro: Unfortunately, there is no metro station near the courtyard.

Train: There are three trains to Yangliuqing from Tianjin Railway Station every day. They depart at 6.00, 11.32, and 14.29. The journey lasts about 25 minutes and costs 9 RMB. After getting out of the station, the Shi Family Grand Courtyard is only 1.1 kilometers away.

Highlights of Shi Family Grand Courtyard

Architectural Beauty

architectural beauty of shi family grand courtyard

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard is an awe-inspiring architectural marvel located in northern China. Dating back to the Qing Dynasty, it boasts a symmetrical layout of interconnected courtyards, reflecting traditional Chinese design principles. Adorned with intricate wood carvings, exquisite murals, and splendid gardens, the courtyard showcases the epitome of Chinese cultural heritage and craftsmanship. Its central axis aligns with reverence to Feng Shui beliefs, creating a harmonious balance with nature. Functioning as a family residence and a cultural symbol, the Shi Family Grand Courtyard stands as a testament to the enduring magnificence of ancient Chinese architecture.

Courtyard Layout

layout of shi family grand courtyard

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard features a meticulously planned and symmetrical layout, embodying traditional Chinese architectural principles. Comprising several interconnected courtyards, the grandeur of this structure lies in its intricate design. Starting from the entrance, a majestic gate opens into a vast forecourt, leading to a central axis. Along this axis, successive courtyards unfold, each adorned with exquisite gardens, intricate wood carvings, and culturally significant murals. The main buildings are situated along the central axis, while smaller halls and living spaces flank the sides.

Traditional Gardens

traditional gardens in shi family grand courtyard

The traditional gardens within the Shi Family Grand Courtyard enchant visitors with their captivating beauty and serene ambiance. Inspired by classic Chinese garden design, these meticulously crafted green spaces offer a harmonious blend of nature and human artistry. Lush vegetation, meticulously manicured bonsai trees, and colorful blooms create a picturesque setting. The gardens feature meandering paths, small bridges over tranquil ponds, and decorative pavilions that add to the enchanting atmosphere. Each element symbolizes traditional Chinese cultural values, such as harmony, balance, and tranquility. Stepping into these gardens is akin to entering a living work of art, inviting contemplation and connection with the natural world.

Ancestral halls

ancestral halls in shi family grand courtyard

The Ancestral halls within the Shi Family Grand Courtyard hold deep cultural significance, serving as a revered space to honor ancestors and preserve the family’s heritage. These halls are impressive architectural masterpieces, designed with meticulous attention to detail and traditional Chinese aesthetics. Elaborate wood carvings, exquisite paintings, and ornate decorations adorn the interiors, showcasing the family’s wealth and status. An atmosphere of solemnity and reverence permeates the halls, where ancestral tablets and altars stand as the focal points of veneration. Here, family members gather for rituals and ceremonies, fostering a strong sense of continuity, identity, and respect for ancestors, forging a timeless connection between past and present generations.

Yangliuqing Woodblock Prints

yangliuqing woodblock prints in shi family grand courtyard

The Shi Family Grand Courtyard proudly exhibits the renowned Yangliuqing woodblock prints, an exquisite art form originating from the Yangliuqing village in China. These prints represent a rich cultural heritage, capturing historical events, folktales, and scenes of everyday life with remarkable precision and vibrant colors. Skillfully crafted by local artisans using traditional woodblock printing techniques, the prints showcase meticulous details and artistic finesse.

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