Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families

The Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families, aka Memorial Hall of Wangdao and Xie'an, is located on Wuyi Lane, also named Black Clothes Lane, in Nanjing City. There is a famous poem about this place written by Liu Yuxi (772 - 842), a noted poet as well as a philosopher in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907):

"Beside the Linnet Bridge weeds and wild flowers are spreading,
At the end of Wuyi Lane the sun is setting.
Swallows used to build nests in Wang and Xie's Mansion,
But now they fly to the home of the commons."

The 'Wang and Xie's Mansion' here refers to  the Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families. According to the poem, the Ancient Residence of Wang and Xie was deserted long time ago after the two decent families declined. In 1997, Wuyi Lane and the Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Family were restored near the Qinghuai River.

During the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), Wuyi Lane was the seat of the barracks. The soldiers in the barracks all wore black uniforms. Hence its name. Another saying goes that the place was dwelled by noble families in the past. As they preferred to wearing black robes to show dignity, people call here the Black Clothes Lane.

Measuring around 164 feet (50 meters) from east to west and 66 feet (20 meters) from north to south, the Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families covers an area of about 1,200 square yards (1,000 square meters). Divided into Eastern and Western Courtyards, it has two main buildings, Lai Yan Hall and Jian Jin Pavilion. Besides, there are some other exhibition halls, which display a typical living room of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420), old furniture and various articles for daily use of Wang and Xie Families. On the exterior wall of the houses are frescos showcasing the daily life of poets and literary men at the most prosperous period of the residence.

Besides, there is a artificial stream with nine bends modeled the one in Orchid Pavilion, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province. In ancient times, it was used for poet parties. Everyone sat along the stream. A cup filled up with wine was placed in the stream to drift. When it stopped, the person closest to the cup should compose a poet and toss off the cup. Such an arrangement in the mansion makes it more interesting to visit.

Background Information about Wang Dao and Xie An

Wang and Xie refer to Wang Dao and Xie An. Wang Dao (276 - 339) is a well-known statesman as well as a calligrapher of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Regarded as one of the founders of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, he served three emperors including Emperor Yuan, Emperor Ming and Emperor Cheng. As a calligrapher, he was very good at cursive scripts (running hand), a style of Chinese character writing. After Wang Dao passed away, there were few elites in the political circle for almost 20 years, until the appearance of Xie An.

Xie An (320 - 385) is another famous statesman as well as a refined scholar of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. He once lived in solitude and was appointed as the prime minister until his forties. Xie later conducted the famous Battle of Fei River against the Former Qin Regime (351 - 394). It’s said that he just used around 80,000 soldiers to defeat the Former Qin’s Army which has soldiers ten times more than his troop. Meanwhile, he was good at music and running script.

Celebrities of the Wang and Xie Families

Excluding Wang Dao, there are some other celebrities in his family, such as Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi, Wang Xun and Wang Min. Wang Xizhi and his son Wang Xianzhi are both well-known calligraphers as well as poets. Wang Xun and Wang Min are as good as their grandpa Wang Dao. They both are good at calligraphy. Besides, Wang Xun is an important official while Wang Min is a doctor.

Xie Yan, Xie Daoyun, Xie Xuan and Xie Lingyun are the representatives of Xie Family. Xie Yan and Xie Xuan are two military officers of the Eastern Jin Dynasty. They both played very important roles in the Battle of Fei River. Xie Daoyun is a famous female poet. She is the niece of Xie An as well as the wife of Wang Ningzhi, the second son of Wang Xizhi. Xie Lingyun is a prominent poet in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 - 589).

How to get to Former Residence of the Wang and Xie Families

By Metro:
1. Take metro line 3 and get off at Fuzimiao (Confucius Temple) Station.
2. Take metro line 1 and get off at Sanshanjie Station.

By Bus:
Take bus 43, 301, or 317 to Wudingqiao.
Take bus 23, 26, 33, 46, 63, 81, 87, 88, 301, 703 or 706 to Pipaxiang.
Nanjing Bus / Metro Search
Entrance Fee CNY 8 for the former residence only
CNY 32 for a combo ticket (including the former residence and Dacheng Hall in Confucius Temple)
Opening Hours 09:00 - 22:00

Recommended Nearby Attractions

Nanjing Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao)
Bailuzhou Park
Imperial Examination Museum of China (Jiangnan Examination Hall)
- Last updated on Apr. 20, 2020 -
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