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Notes on the Geography of China: Beijing: Hutong, Siheyuan, and Highrises: Photo 7

world pictures China: Beijing: Hutong, Siheyuan, and Highrises

The two houses we've just looked at--now empty and lifeless--have little in common with most of the surviving courtyard homes. Some 800 were said to survive intact in 1989, but 80 percent of them were the homes of senior officials, military or civil. They still cluster chiefly in one district, Feng Sheng, west of the Forbidden City but just east of the Second Ring Road. They're hard to see--and atypical. For the typical siheyuan today, we return to the Bell Tower, north of the Forbidden City.

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