Walking in residential houses, you can find many closed gates. The residents of the past Siheyuan used to live by closing gates for trouble avoidance. This is a tranquil feeling, which a part of Beijing Charm.
Gate is the face of a family and is traditionally emphasized by citizens, because the gate used to be the symbol or mark of the residents' social status. The phrases of Mendi (in Chinese "门第" means social standing) and Mendanghudui (in Chinese "门当户对" means what kind of social standing uses what kind of gate, also means the new couples’ families were also matched in the aspect of social standing ) are both the stretch of gate to show the family standing in the society. The types of gate show the rigid difference of social standing. The number, size, decoration, and color are all made according to the rigid stature regulation. The top is prince mansion, additionally the lowest-level gate in prince mansion was also forbidden to use in commoners’ family.
Guangliang Gate (Broad-Bright Gate)
Broad-Bright Gate is the most typical gate among the different gates of Siheyuan. Generally, Broad-Bright Gate is done via changing a room, and such a room is larger and higher than other houses, so the gate was also higher and larger. The both walls of the gates are also protruded a little bit. As for decoration, the foundation or base of the gate was blocked up. Hence the gate is looked grand and high.
Jingzhu Gate (Golden-Column Gate)
More charming gate than Broad-Bright Gate is Golden-Column Gate. Why people call it Golden-Column Gate. Just for the Jinzhu was erected between the outmost column of the house called Yanzhu and Zhongzhu, and set the gate between the Jinzhu, so people call it Golden-Column Gate
Manzi Gate (Uncivilized Gate)
Manzi Gate (Uncivilized Gate) has a lower status than Broad-Bright Gate. Its gate frame was set between Yanzhu. Such kind of gate is lower than two above in social standing. But it is very useful and roomy, and many things could be held there.
Ruyi Gate (Favorite Gate)
Ruyi Gate (Favorite Gate) has a lower status than three above. Based on the Manzi Gate, the main part was stuffed by the bricked wall and only two gates are left. Ruyi Gate was used by the rich citizens without high-ranking social standing.
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