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- Name：The Former Residence of Comrade Soong Ching Ling
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- Admission：Adults: 20 RMB; University students: 10 RMB; Middle/elementary school students: 5 RMB; Free for people over 70
- Address：No. 46 Houhai North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing(北京市西城区后海北街46号)
- Transportation: Bus 55, 5, 27, 44, 345, 834, 819.
DetailsThe Former Residence of Comrade Soong Ching Ling is located on the northern bank of Houhai Lake, part of the picturesque Shichahai Lake in Beijing. In front of the gate is the beautiful lake with ripples and willows on the bank, and inside the courtyard, there are meandering paths and corridors, halls and pavilions. Surrounded by the lake, with artificial hills, green trees and flowers in the courtyard, this is a graceful, elegant, tranquil, and unique courtyard.
The former residence occupies an area of more than 20,000 square meters and has a floor space of about 5,000 square meters. Also called the Xihuayuan, it was originally the garden of the mansion of Prince Zaifeng, father of China’s last Emperor Aisin-Gioro Puyi.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Zhou Enlai, with the endorsement of the Party and central government, was personally involved in the reconstruction and refurbishment of the garden. He decided to construct a two-story building blending the Chinese and Western architectural arts west of the main building of the mansion garden to serve as the residence of Soong Ching Ling. In April 1963, Soong Ching Ling moved into the new building and resided there. She lived and spent 18 years in the building until her death on May 29, 1981.
In 1981, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress decided to confer the honorary title of “honorary chairwoman of the People’s Republic of China” to Comrade Soong Ching Ling, decided to name her residence “former residence of Comrade Soong Ching Ling, Honorary Chairwoman of the People’s Republic of China,” and requested the State Council to list it as a major historic site under national protection. After that, under the direct leadership and arrangement by the central government leaders Deng Yingchao and Liao Chengzhi, comprehensive repairs and maintenance of the former residence were carried out, retaining and restoring the residence to the state when Soong Ching Ling resided and worked there for display and exhibition. A nationwide collection of cultural heritages and materials was launched to gather materials for the “exhibition of the life of Comrade Soong Ching Ling.” On May 29, 1982, on the first anniversary of the death of Soong Ching Ling, Deng Yingchao attended the ceremony to open the former residence to the public, and the former residence has now become an “education base for the young.”