Qiao Family Courtyard (originally named as Zai Zhong Tang in Chinese spelling) is sited in Qi County, Shanxi Province, China. Located only approximately 40km northeast of Pingyao Ancient Town and 54km southwest of Taiyuan, the compound is fortified behind a 10m high wall with battlements. It is not exaggerated that you will be go deeply into the once most prosperous merchant family by visiting Qiao Family Courtyard on your way to Pingyao Ancient Town. It was the private residential house of Qiao Zhiyong, who was the most famous member of the powerful trading family with significant commercial influence even beyond Shanxi, as they were in the trade sector, a nationwide business.
The courtyard is a totally-enclose castle-like building, with three sides facing the streets. It construction started in 1756 during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing dynasty and was completed some time in the 18th century. Covering an area of 9000 square meters, the total amount of buildings was 60 courtyards, ten large courtyards, 19 courtyards, totaling 313 rooms. From the bird-eye view, the layout is in the shape of a Chinese character - double happiness and selected from mould of castle. Inside the close brick wall, each two courtyards are linked tightly and each two rooms are like fish scales and comb teeth. Six buildings are divided into two by corridors. There are numerous courtyards and gardens in courtyards. Qiao Family Courtyard is considered to be one of the finest remaining examples of imposing private residences in northern China. It has been converted into a museum now and has many periods’ furnishings.
• Address: Qiaojiabao Village, Qi County, Jinzhong City, China
• Opening hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm from April to November; 8:00am - 5:30pm from December to next March.
• Tel: 0354-5321045
• Recommended time to stay: 2 to 3 hours
• How to get there: usually, tourists get to Qiao Family Courtyard from Pingyao or Taiyuan. There are direct buses in Taiyuan or Taiyuan Bus Station leaving for Qiao Family Courtyard every day, very convenient. You need to check the bus schedule in the bus station.
Recommended China Tour to Pingyao: 11 Days North Ancient Towns Exploration Tour (Destination: Beijing-Datong-Pingyao-Xian-Shanghai)