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Sanbulao Hutong — Zheng He’s Former Residence

The Sanbulao Hutong in Xicheng district was known as the Sanbao Old Man’s hutong in the Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty, the hutong was gradully renamed Sanbulao and finally Sanbulao. The Qing’s Dijing Suishi Ji (the annals of the capital city) says: Sanbulao brought all kinds of articles and treasures from the western region to the capital” Here Sanbulao refers to Zheng He, the Eunuch Sanbao and Hui nationality navigator in the Ming Dynasty, who had led seven major commercial and diplomatic expeditions overseas. Zheng He had been living on the north off the eastern intersection of the Sanbulao Hulong after he finished his westward voyages. He died at 62 in the Hutong. And his adopted son and all the relieves migrated to other places after his death. His former residence was completely ruined in the 1950s. Only the broken wooden gate and the incompletely door pier were remnant. Now the place has become the living quarter for the staff of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference). Hou Baolin ( 1917-1993 ), one of the famous Chinese comedians and the master of Xiangsheng Chinese cross talk), spent his childhood near the Sanbulao hutong. At that time, each morning, Hou used to go to a nearby porridge shop to buy porridge.

Kuijun Mansion in the Black Sesame Hutong in Dongcheng District

Kuijun was the undersecretary of the Xingbu [Ministry of Justice], governor of Sichuan Province and the uncle of Ronglu (1836-1903), the high-rank Manchu military official of the Northern Warlord Administration. His mansion was located at No.37, Black Sesame Hutong, South Gong and Drum Lane in the city’s eastern part. The hutong was called Paper Horse Hutong in the Ming Dynasty, for it used to be the place housing many paper horse workshops. It was renamed the present name in the Xuantong reign (1909-1912) in the Gills Dynasty. Kuijun Mansion was a five level courtyard built on seven layer steps. A large horse mounting stone was erected in the front of the residence. The screen wall and the tassel gate were still in good condition. In me eastern part of the residence was a garden and in the western part me dwelling house. The western screen door led to main courtyard, where the corridor had railings and chairs. The pillars in the of the houses were all thicker than the size prescribed by the Yingzao Zelie, the construction of the Qing Dynasty.

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