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Li Family Courtyard

Li Family Courtyard Travel Guide

Li Family Courtyard is a residence by Li Ziyong who is a merchant prince.On the basis of accumulate Shangxi Style Courtyard, it integrates the south China Hui Style Architecture and European Gothic Architecture, which has a high cultural and artistic value.

Li Family Courtyard was built in the period of Daoguang Emperor (1821-1850 AD) in Qing Dynasty, located in Wangrong County, Yuncheng City. There are 11 groups of existing courtyards, 146 rooms totals. The overall structure of Li Family Courtyard is accumulate Shangxi Style Courtyard, the whole building structure is privacy preserving, excellent lighting and ventilated. The brick carvings, stone carvings, wood carvings and iron ornaments of the courtyards all have typical folk characteristics of Han Nationality in South Shanxi -- the more sons, the more happiness; the god of happiness, wealth and longevity; five blessings; longevity crane and pine;keep on part time learning and self study, etc. Because Li Ziyong once studied in Britain and married his British wife, some of the courtyards are European Gothic Architectural Style. The building artistic characteristics of the integration of Chinese and Western cultures, is a special case in Shanxi architectures.

The Shanxi Merchants' culture embodied in Li Family Courtyard is different from other merchants. The family was not only from traditional agriculture entered the commercial field, but also successfully entered the modern industrial field from a feudal businessman and turned into a national capitalist. The success is closely related to Li Family's family motto and emphasis on education. The family motto is engraved on both sides of the main courtyard entrance, always reminding generations to generations --"Should learn to cherish ordinary stuff from each grain of rice, and always see the difficulties of production from each string of cloth". Li Family attached great importance to education, but they teach the younger generation do not learning in a pedantic way,  and pay more attention to knowledge outside the book and spend more time on thinking. So there was Li Ziyong who went to study in Britain. And his British wife advanced way of thinking have greatly influenced her children and other younger generation in the family. She advocated equality between men and women at home, taught the children English, opposed early marriage, paid attention to education and music. These education and advanced thinking made the family embark on the road of developing industry.
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