Siheyuan as the residential house has a long history. In accordance with many old records or folklores, as early as 2000 years ago, Siheyuan-style building appeared. Traditionally, Chinese people like Siheyuan as their residential house. The architectures such as palaces, temples, mansion, and official buildings are modeled from Siheyuan. Moreover, the folk residences make houses in the standard of Siheyuan. Naturally, people always remember Beijing Siheyuan when the Siheyuan is mentioned anywhere.
Siheyuan in Beijing is very standard and typical in the diversities of Siheyuan all around China. First of all, the whole layout of Beijing Siheyuan looks like a square, but Siheyuan in other areas are absolutely different. Residential Siheyuan in Shaanxi and Shanxi is an oblong (generally, it is much too long from south to north and short from east to west), while Siheyuan in Sichuan is in reverse. Secondly, most Siheyuan in Beijing is the one-storey house and each house is relatively independent, while in south China, many Siheyuans are the tall buildings. Generally, the unmarried girls used to live in the rear house. And the servants lived in some subsidiary houses.
Beijing Siheyuan actually is the bright and shiny yard. In the feudalistic society, it has a rigid distribution of the house in Siheyuan for family members at different ages. The predominant main houses are lived by the authorized seniors. Among the houses at the north, the middle one is open and called as the Tangwu, two houses at both sides are only opened to Tangwu. Tangwu house is the sitting house of the family, used for serving the relatives or friends or during the festivals used for ancestry worship ceremony. Currently, many Siheyuans in China, especially in Beijing are gradually replaced by the high-rising buildings. Living in Siheyuan perhaps is a luxurious enjoyment today, and in the past, people living in Siheyuan was neighborly. Such a Siheyuan-style neighborhood has been the strong memory in the mind of the senior.
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