fu jen university
One of China’s top universities in the era of the First Republic of China (1911~1949), Fu Jen University was founded in 1927 and operated until 1952 when the P.R.C. government restructured the country’s higher education system and merged it with Beijing Normal University. A number of distinguished scholars of modern & contemporary China, such as Chen Yuan, Qi Gong, Zhu Guangqian, Hu Shi, and Shen Yinmo, used to study or teach here. The building of the University, though often ignored by the tourists, is worth a visit. It was completed in 1930, and is now used by Beijing Normal University as the campus for one of its secondary colleges.

The structure was designed by Murphy Henry Killam, a representative of revivalist architecture in the early 20th century, and features a combination of Western and Chinese architectural styles. While the major materials are brick, stone, concrete and steel, Chinese elements are organically inserted into the structure. The two-storied building is a clearly symmetrical quadrangle structure with a three-storied turret at each corner, which, just like the Forbidden City, gives the feeling of stability, elegance and dignity. The roof is traditional Chinese palace style, made of green glazed tiles. Other Chinese style architecture elements include the white marble foundation to the whole building, the window frames with carved patterns, and the stone carving lions in front of the main entrance.

It is perhaps the most tranquil campus of Beijing’s various universities. The building is relatively young when compared with other famous architectures in this historical city, and the facilities inside it are modern. However, the thick walls always manage to stop the noise coming in, and, along with its rear garden, covered corridor, pavilion, etc., make the building one of the most nostalgic places in Beijing.

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