As a famous historical and cultural city and one of the “eight ancient capital cities” in China, Beijing has a history of more than 3,000 years as a city and over 860 years as a capital. During the long history, many celebrities, litterateurs and artists have lived here. Their former residences have become places to recall them for today.
Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall
Sufferring a miserable life, Cao Xunqin wrote his masterpiece the Dream of the Red Chamber and left many graceful and touching legends in a courtyard near the Fragrant Hills in Beijing. The Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall was a row of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)-styled bungalows built in 1984. The 300- square-meter houses have their façades faced south in a yard covering an area of 3,000 square meters. To date, it is the only place directly relative to Cao Xueqin and his novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The hall exhibits some historical relics reflecting the author’s life experience and stories about his family in the Plain White Banner Village as well as replicas described in the Dream of the Red Chamber.
Address: no.39 xiangshanwofosi road, Haidian District, inside the Beijing Botanical Garden
Former Residence of Lu Xun
The founder of modern Chinese literature Lu Xun spent his life in the residence from 1924 to 1926. This last residence of his in Beijing now is one of the national key cultural relics protection units and a "red tourism" destination. It is home to more than 60,000 cultural relics, books and rubbings of tablets covering both Lu Xun’s manuscripts, private collections, letters from his friends and the remains of other well-known contemporaries like Xu Guangping and Qian Xuantong.
Address: no. 19 Gongmenkou Ertiao, Fuchengmennei Street, Xicheng District
Former Residence of Mao Dun
Mao Dun, a master of the Chinese literature, moved in the courtyard in 1974. He spent his last seven years of his life here until he passed away in 1981. Then the courtyard was turned into an exhibition hall and was opened to the public. In the foreyard there are two exhibition rooms in which more than 400 pieces of Mao’s daily use articles and photos of the kinds are on display such as Mao Dun’s manuscripts, works, letters and periodicals edited by him. The six-room backyard is where the cinerary casket of the Mao Dun’s wife is placed. The residence has been listed as one of the Beijing municipal cultural relic protection units since 1984.
Address: no.13 Houyuanensi Hutong, Dongcheng District
Mei Lanfang Memorial Hall
Covering an area of 716 square meters, the Mei Lanfang Memorial Hall is a quiet and quaint courtyard located at the Huguosi Street in Xicheng District. Mei Lanfang spent the last ten years of his life in the courtyard. He moved in after the liberation in 1949. The courtyard used to be a part of the Prince Yi’s residence in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was repaired after the liberation of China, and then Mei Lanfang moved in. After the death of Mei Lanfang in 1961, it became a memorial hall under the proposal of then premier Zhou Enlai. Mei’s family donated more than 30,000 Mei's belongings of photos, drama scripts, soveunirs to the country.
Address: no. 9 Huguoshi Jie, Xicheng District
Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling
The furnishing of the courtyard is simple and unadorned. On the contrary to the bustling neighboring Houhai Secnic Area, here is a quiet place. It features winding corridors, rugged artificial hills and towering ancient trees. the environment reflects its former owner’s modest and quiet personality. The exhibition room collects photos, letters and some living articles of Soong Ching Ling. Song Ching Ling moved in in 1963 and lived here for 18 years until she died in 1981.
Address: no. 46 Houhaibeiyan, Xicheng District
Former Residence of Guo Moruo
Covering an area of 7,000 square meters, the Former Residence of Guo Moruo used to be a prince garden in the Qianhai West Street in the Xicheng District. The garden was abandoned because the prince’s family of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was confiscated due to corruption. Guo Moruo moved in in 1963 and lived here for the last 15 years of his life. The gold-lettered plaque of the memorial hall was inscribed by Deng Yingchao. The ginkgo trees and peony flowers in the yard were planted by Guo Moruo and his wife.
Address: no.18 Qianhai West Street (Qianhaixijie), Xicheng District
Former Residence of Laoshe
Laoshe, a noted Chinese novelist and dramatist, moved his home nine times in Beijing before and after the liberation of China. But the house located on the north side of West Dengshikou Street was the last one at which he spent his last 16 years. Laoshe was born, grew up and died in Beijing. for his lifetime, Beijing was the source of his inspiration.
Address: 19 Fengfu Hutong, Dengshikou West Street, Dongcheng District
Former Residence of Qi Baishi
As a legendary Chinese painter, Qi Baishi came from a farmer’s family and started to learn the painting skills in the middle age. Although he was an influential artist, he maintained a peasent’s plain manner and loveliness. But sometimes he was too stubborn and ridiculous due to his character. These characteristics are also found in his paintings and residence.
Address: no. 13, Yu’er Hutong, Dongcheng District
Former Residence of Cai Yuanpei
Cai Yuanpei, a renowned revolutionary educator and late President of Peking University, was a cosmopolitan. He moved his home three or four times in Beijing alone. The house located at the Dontangzi Hutong was regarded as the most important home for him. It witnessed his ups and downs. And the May Fourth Movement was brewed in it.
Address: no. 75, Dongtangzi Hutong, Dongcheng District
Memorial Museum of Guo Shoujing
Guo Shoujing was a Chinese astronomer, engineer mathematician in the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). The Memorial Museum of Guo Shoujing(1231—1316) has four exhibition halls, displaying respectively Guo’s life, the form and function of Jishuitan (puddle of accumulated water), river regulations and Guo’s research on the astronomy and calendar. Decorated by artificial hills and garden paths, the garden like place is friendly to visiting families with children.
Address: Jia 60, Deshengmenxidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
Former Residence of Tan Sitong
Tan Sitong was one of the Six Gentlemen Martyrs in Reform Movement of 1898. The former residence of Tan was the former guild hall of Liuyang. He lived here in 1898 when he was in Beijing. Now, most of the hutong where his residence sits in has been demolished. Only the little yard and its neighboring houses are still stand here.
Address: no. 41, Beibanjie Hutong, Xicheng District