Wang Family Courtyard

Sixty kilometers (37 miles) south of Pingyao, this dayuan dwarfs the Qiao family's mansion. First constructed in the mid-17th century, its expansion continued for over a century. Walking through the 123 courtyards and 1,118 houses takes around 3 hours, but the time is well spent.

The decorative lattice screens and windows, shaped openings between rooms and courtyards, and undulating partition walls are exquisite examples of Ming and Qing vernacular architecture. Rarely are so many classic styles found all in one place. Also of note and well worth looking for are the cave dwellings at the compound's periphery.

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